Stars News

Stars By The Numbers - #16
Stars By The Numbers - #16

Fabian Brunnstrom (LW) 2009-2010
Michael Neal (LW) 2009-2011
Sean Backman (LW) 2010-2011
Angelo Esposito (C) 2011-2012
Scott Campbell (LW) 2011-2012
Joey Martin (LW) 2012-2013
Austin Fyten (LW) 2012-2013
Curtis McKenzie (LW) 2012-2013

Fabian Brunnstrom (LW)
Jonstorp, Sweden
Stars Debut: November 25, 2009 vs. Milwaukee
Stars Career Stats: 45 GP, 26 Points (12 Goals, 14 Assists), 18 PIMs

Fabian Brunnstrom first came over from his native Sweden to join the Dallas Stars for the 2008-09 season. He had 29 points (17 goals, 12 assists) in 55 NHL games for the Stars and played in one AHL for the Manitoba Moose. The Jonstorp, Sweden native started the 2009-10 season with Dallas, but was sent down to Texas on a conditioning loan on November 24, 2009. Brunnstrom made his Texas Stars debut on November 25, 2009 vs. Milwaukee, becoming the first player in team history to wear the No. 16 jersey. He only played in two games before being recalled to Dallas four days after first heading to Cedar Park.

Brunnstrom was assigned to Texas for a second conditioning loan on December 30, 2009, this time he stayed for the full two weeks and played in six games for the Stars. He had a goal and two assists on January 2, 2010 at Manitoba, his first points for Texas, and then followed it up with two assists on January 6, 2010 vs. Houston. Although he only played in eight games in the No. 16 sweater, he had five points (1 goal, 4 assists).

The following season Brunnstrom was assigned outright to Texas in mid-October of 2010. He played in 37 AHL games for the Stars during the 2010-11 campaign, but by then he had switched to wearing the No. 29 jersey for Texas. On January 13, 2011 Brunnstrom was recalled to Dallas and then traded by the Stars to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Russian right wing Mikhail Stefanovich.

After the Stars: Brunnstrom finished the 2010-11 season with the Maple Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. He faced Texas for the first time as an opponent on March 13,  2011 at Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto. Brunnstrom signed with the Detroit Red Wings for the 2011-12 season and appeared in five NHL games for Detroit and 45 AHL games for the Grand Rapids Griffins. He faced Texas three times with the Griffins, once in Grand Rapids on January 13, 2012 and then he returned to Cedar Park Center for two games in March. Brunnstrom had two assists on March 7, 2012 in a Stars 5-4 overtime win, but then scored two goals and was named the game’s first star as Grand Rapids won 5-2 on March 13, 2012. He returned to Sweden to play for Frölunda HC of the Elitserien during the 2012-13 season.

Michael Neal (LW)
Whitby, Ontario
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 22 GP, 3 Points (3 Goals, 0 Assists), 14 PIMs

Michael Neal was the first ever Texas Stars player to wear the No. 15 jersey and he became the second player in team history to wear No. 16. After playing in No. 15 for his first four games during the 2009-10 campaign, the Whitby, Ontario made his debut in the No. 16 on April 6, 2010 vs. San Antonio.  He played in two games in April of 2010 wearing his new number, but when he was called up from Idaho to play for Texas during the 2010-11 season, Neal was back in his original No. 15 sweater. Overall he had three goals and 22 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Stars.

After the Stars: Neal spent the entire 2011-12 season with Idaho, scoring 25 points (7 goals, 18 assists) in 63 regular season games and then registering an impressive eight points (3 goals, 5 assists) in nine Kelly Cup Playoff games. Last year (2012-13) Neal played with the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears, putting up 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 46 games.

Sean Backman (LW)
White Plains, New York
Stars Debut: October 10, 2010 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 67 GP, 23 Points (7 Goals, 16 Assists), 20 PIMs

Sean Backman was undrafted after playing four years of Division I college hockey for Yale University of the ECAC. The White Plains, New York native joined the Texas Stars for the 2010-11 season, his first as a pro, making his debut on October 10, 2010 at San Antonio. Backman scored a goal for his first pro point on October 22, 2010 vs. Lake Erie and had two multi-point games, scoring a goal and an assist on both December 7, 2010 vs. Manitoba and again on March 20, 2011 at Manitoba.

He had one spell on loan to the Idaho Steelheads in mid-November, where he had four points (2 goals, 2 assists) in five ECHL games. Backman’s best run of form came right after he returned to Texas. In late-November to mid-December he had seven points (4 goals, 3 assists) in eight games, including a five-game point streak. Overall, Backman finished with 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) and 20 penalty minutes in 67 games that season for the Stars and still holds the record for most games played in the No. 16 jersey. He played in all six playoff games for Texas in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, posting no points and six penalty minutes in their first round series against Milwaukee.

After the Stars: Backman joined the Bridgeport Sound Tigers for the 2011-12 season and has played two consecutive seasons in Connecticut. He had 18 points in 66 games for Bridgeport in 2011-12 and then had 21 points in 67 games last year for the Sound Tigers.

Angelo Esposito (C)
Montreal, Quebec
Stars Debut: January 16, 2012 at Rockford
Stars Career Stats: 38 GP, 16 Points (5 Goals, 11 Assists), 19 PIMs

Angelo Esposito was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round (20th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. While still in juniors with the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, Pittsburgh traded the Montreal, Quebec native to the Atlanta Thrashers on February 26, 2008 along with Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen and a 2008 first round draft pick for Marian Hossa and Pascal Dupuis. At the end of the 2007-08 season, Esposito’s third for the Remparts, he joined the Thrashers’ AHL-affiliate Chicago Wolves to make his pro debut. He played one more year of junior hockey, 2008-09, with the Montreal Juniors of the QMJHL and then joined the Wolves for the 2009-10 season. After two years in the AHL with Chicago, Esposito was traded by Atlanta to the Florida Panthers on July 8, 2011 for Kenndal McArdle. He started the 2011-12 season with the San Antonio Rampage, Florida’s AHL-affiliate, but was traded by the Panthers to the Dallas Stars for Ondrej Roman on January 13, 2012.

Esposito made his Texas Stars debut on January 16, 2012 at Rockford. After just two games wearing the No. 16 jersey, he switched to No. 27 and played the remainder of the season with that number. He registered his first point for Texas in his first game against San Antonio following the trade, getting an assist on January 27, 2012. Esposito played in 38 games for the Stars, registering 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) and 19 penalty minutes.

After the Stars: Esposito signed with the Finnish club Pelicans of the top level SM-liiga for the 2012-13 season. He had seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in 29 games for the Pelicans and was released from his contract on January 17, 2013 and immediately moved to the Italian Serie A to play for Hockey Milano Rossoblu, where he had four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in five games for the Milan club.

Scott Campbell (LW)
Navan, Ontario
Stars Debut: February 18, 2012 vs. San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 12 GP, 0 Points (0 Goals, 0 Assists), 0 PIMs

Scott Campbell was undrafted after playing four seasons of Division I college hockey for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell Riverhawks of Hockey East. The Navan, Ontario native made his pro debut at the end of his senior season (2010-11) with the Houston Aeros. He signed an ECHL contract for the 2011-12 season with the Las Vegas Wranglers and earned two AHL call-ups. He played in one game for the Rochester Americans on December 21, 2011 and then two months later was called up to Texas.

Campbell made his Stars debut on February 18, 2012 against the San Antonio Rampage. He played in 12 total games for Texas, posting zero points, seven shots on goal and a minus-four plus-minus rating.

After the Stars: Campbell returned to Las Vegas in late March of 2012, where he helped the Wranglers reach the 2012 Kelly Cup Finals before losing to the Florida Everblades in five games. He began the 2012-13 season with Las Vegas, but also was called up to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, where he played in 46 AHL games and had 18 points (7 goals, 11 assists) and 33 penalty minutes.

Joey Martin (LW)
Thorold, Ontario
Stars Debut: January 16, 2013 at Chicago
Stars Career Stats: 4 GP, 0 Points (0 Goals, 0 Assists), 0 PIMs

Joey Martin was undrafted after playing four years of Division I college hockey for the University of Nebraska-Omaha of the CCHA. The Thorold, Ontario native began his pro career in 2011-12 with the Toledo Walleye of the ECHL and earned an eight-game call-up with the Houston Aeros. Martin re-signed with Toledo for the 2012-13 season and was called-up and signed to a PTO by Texas on January 16, 2013.

Martin made his Stars debut that night at Chicago, becoming the first of three players to wear the No. 16 jersey during the 2012-13 season. He played in four games for Texas, all on the road in Chicago, Peoria and Oklahoma City and was released from his PTO on January 22, 2013.

After the Stars: Martin returned to Toledo and finished the season with 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 60 games for the Walleye. He then had five points (3 goals, 2 assists) in six Kelly Cup Playoff games for Toledo as they were eliminated in the first round by the Cincinnati Cylones.

Austin Fyten (LW)
Sundre, Alberta
Stars Debut: February 1, 2013 at Houston
Stars Career Stats: 11 GP, 2 Points (0 Goals, 2 Assists), 4 PIMs

Austin Fyten was undrafted after playing major junior hockey for the Lethbridge Hurricanes and the Vancouver Giants in the WHL. He attended the Texas Stars 2012-13 training camp on a tryout contract and began the season with the Idaho Steelheads. He had a strong season for Idaho and was called-up to Texas and signed a PTO on January 30, 2013.

Fyten made his Stars and AHL debut on February 1, 2013 at Houston. He then picked up his first career AHL point with an assist on February 5, 2013 vs. Rockford. Fyten stayed with the Stars for almost two full months, appearing in 11 games and tallying two assists. He was released from his PTO and returned to Idaho on March 26, 2013.

After the Stars: Fyten finished the regular season ranked third on Idaho with 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 46 games. He helped the Steelheads reach the Western Conference Finals of the 2013 Kelly Cup Playoffs, losing to the Stockton Thunder in five games. In 17 post-season games with Idaho, Fyten had 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists) and 10 penalty minutes.

Curtis McKenzie (LW)
Golden, British Columbia
Stars Debut: April 6, 2013 vs. Hamilton
Stars Career Stats: 5 GP, 1 Point (0 Goals, 1 Assist), 14 PIMs

Curtis McKenzie is the eighth, and most recent, Texas Stars player to wear the No. 16 jersey. The Golden, British Columbia native was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and played four years of Division I college hockey for Miami University of the CCHA. McKenzie was a three-year teammate and roommate with former Texas Stars left wing Reilly Smith, who were briefly reunited as Texas teammates last season. After completing his senior season at Miami, he joined the Stars on an ATO on April 3, 2013.

McKenzie made his pro debut with Texas on April 6, 2013 vs. Hamilton and became an instant hit with the home fans when he dropped the gloves for his first pro fight during that game. He played in the final five games of the regular season, picking up an assist for his first pro point in the regular season finale on April 20, 2013 vs. Rockford. McKenzie remained with the team throughout the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs, but did not appear in a game for the Stars.

--Texas Stars--

Posted on 07/18/13

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