The Dallas Stars have recalled a pair of prospects for their final game of the season tomorrow against the Colorado Avalanche. Mark McNeill and Denis Gurianov are both on their way to Dallas and would be making their Stars debut should they be inserted into the lineup. McNeill, 24, came over in the Johnny Oduya trade at the deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks, where he had been a first-round pick (18th overall) and top prospect. The big center has just one NHL game under his belt and is actually in the midst of his worst (though still effective) AHL season yet. He’ll need a breakthrough at the NHL level soon if he’s to stay in the plans of the Stars long-term, as he’s approaching the end of “prospect status”.
Gurianov is the Stars’ own first round pick from 2015 (12th overall) and has had a solid rookie campaign in the AHL after coming over from Russia this year. With 25 points in 54 games he’s only brushing the surface of his eventual power forward game, and still hasn’t quite filled out into his 6’3″ frame. He’ll be making his NHL debut, and hope to push for a full-time role in the next year or so at the top level.
- Speaking of young Russian wingers, the Carolina Hurricanes have recalled Sergey Tolchinsky from the Charlotte Checkers, while sending Andrew Poturalski back down. Tolchinsky has 22 points on the year in the AHL and still hasn’t replicated the immense scoring talent he showed for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL. The 22-year old has some of the slickest hands in professional hockey, but has had trouble at times with his big size disadvantage. When he gets the puck in space though, watch out as you might see a highlight every time.
- The Buffalo Sabres have brought Linus Ullmark back up, likely meaning that Anders Nilsson isn’t quite ready to get back on the ice just yet. Ullmark was sent down yesterday in what was apparently just a paper transaction, as neither the Buffalo Sabres nor the Rochester Americans played last night.
- Andy Strickland of Fox Sports is reporting that Henrik Borgstrom will return to the University of Denver next season, meaning the Florida Panthers won’t get him into their system just yet. The first-round pick had 43 points in 36 games for DU this year, and will play for the national championship tomorrow night against Minnesota-Duluth. The lanky center has a great shot at the NHL after his college career ends, but the questions from the World Juniors still remain. He disappeared in the tournament for Finland and was held scoreless, not the first time he’s played poorly at an international event. With Finland firing their head coach mid-tournament, perhaps it was just a symptom of a bad system. For Borgstrom, he’ll need to prove his doubters wrong by continuing the consistent play he’s shown this year in the NCHC.