Defenseman Jamie Oleksiak and forward Antoine Roussel, both called up from the Texas Stars yesterday, practiced with the team today and both will be in the lineup tomorrow when the Stars take on Phoenix at American Airlines Center.
Oleksiak was paired with Alex Goligoski at today’s practice, while Roussel centered the fourth line with Brenden Morrow on the left wing and Ryan Garbutt on the right wing. Both players will make their NHL debuts.
“What we’ve told (Roussel) is we want him to bring some energy and play the same gritty, abrasive game he has played in the American Hockey League. Be a disciplined, very hardworking guy,” Gulutzan said. “(With Oleksiak), we want to get a little heavier in some of these games on the backend, and he’s played so well in the American Hockey League. Like our other young defensemen, he deserves an opportunity. We want to give him a chance to see what he can do.”
Oleksiak, the Stars’ first round pick (14th overall) in 2011, played at the AHL All-Star Game Monday in Providence, Rhode Island. Friday night, he’ll make his NHL debut.
“It’s a huge honor. I wasn’t really expecting it,” Oleksiak said. “I was sitting on my couch, playing video games, waiting for the All-Star break to end and I got a call from our GM down in Texas (Scott White), saying I was getting called up. It’s definitely really exciting. I am glad to be here and I am going to try to make the most of the opportunity.”
Notes: Roy out for weekend
*Stars center Derek Roy (groin) will not play Friday. Gulutzan said he hopes Roy, who did not practice Thursday, will be ready early next week.
“We hope to have him Monday in Colorado, but it remains to be seen if we’ll have him or not,” Gulutzan said. “He has a bit of a groin issue. We’re hoping to have him Monday. We’ve got Friday to worry about, but the quicker we get him back and start playing with a full lineup and have all our key pieces up and running, the better it is going to be for us. We’re certainly hoping to have him on Monday, but we’re concentrating on Friday.”
*Goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp took part in some of Thursday’s practice. Gulutzan said Nilstorp was day-to-day.
*Kari Lehtonen will start in goal Friday.
Thursday’s practice lineup