Matt Stephenson (D) 2009-2010
Ondrej Roman (LW) 2010-2012
Cody Eakin (C) 2012-2013
Brett Ritchie (RW) 2012-2013
Matt Stephenson (D)
Stars Debut: October 3, 2009 vs. San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 106 GP, 5 Points (0 Goals, 5 Assists), 80 PIMs
Matt Stephenson was the first player in Texas Stars history to wear the No. 20 jersey and has played more games for Texas in that number than anyone else. The Midland, Ontario native was undrafted after playing four years of Division I college hockey with St. Cloud State University of the WCHA. Stephenson joined the Iowa Stars at the end of the 2007-08 season, his senior year. The next year, 2008-09, he started with the Idaho Steeleheads, the Stars ECHL affiliate, and earned an AHL call-up to the Providence Bruins, where he played in 17 regular season games and saw his first Calder Cup Playoff action.
Stephenson made his Texas Stars debut on October 3, 2009 at Cedar Park Center vs. San Antonio. He had his first point for Texas with an assist on December 4, 2009 at Milwaukee and ended up with five assists and 80 penalty minutes in 60 games. Stephenson played in all 24 playoff games for the Stars as they reached the 2010 Calder Cup Finals. In Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals he tallied two assists to help Texas rally from a 2-0 deficit to beat the Hamilton Bulldogs 4-2 at Copps Coliseum. Stephenson returned for the 2010-11 season, but struggled with injuries and only played in 46 regular season games, missing sporadic time in November, December and January. He returned to health in February and played the rest of the regular season and all six playoff games in Texas’ first round series against Milwaukee. Stephenson ranks 19th all-time in franchise history with 106 career regular season games, and had five assists and 80 penalty minutes.
After the Stars: Stephenson elected to go to Europe after his second season with Texas, signing with the Sheffield Steelers of the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) in the United Kingdom. He has played in 104 games over the past two seasons for Sheffield, putting up a combined 62 points (12 goals, 50 assists) and 119 penalty minutes.
Ondrej Roman (LW)
Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 96 GP, 27 Points (9 Goals, 18 Assists), 36 PIMs
Ondrej Roman is the second player to wear No. 20 for Texas and he ranks second behind Matt Stephenson for most games played in that jersey. The Ostrava-Poruba, Czech Republic native appeared in 96 games for the Stars and leads all players in the No. 20 sweater with 27 points (9 goals, 18 assists). Drafted by Dallas in the fifth round (136th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Roman played junior hockey for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL as well as playing for his hometown club, HC Vitkovice in the Czech Extraliga.
He made his North American pro debut with the Stars on October 10, 2010 at San Antonio and had an assist for his first career AHL point. The next game, October 16, 2010 vs. San Antonio, Roman scored his first career AHL goal, tying the game at four and forcing overtime, which set up Scott McCulloch’s game-winning power play goal at 1:10 of the extra session in 5-4 Texas victory. Roman appeared in 72 games during the 2010-11 regular season, but only suited up for two games in the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs as the Stars lost to Milwaukee in six games.
Roman returned to the Stars for the 2011-12 campaign, but after two games in early October he was reassigned to the Idaho Steelheads, their ECHL affiliate. He had six points (2 goals, 4 assists) in six games for Idaho and was recalled to Texas in mid-November. Roman played in a total of 24 games for Texas, but his last game in a Stars’ uniform came on January 11, 2011 against Abbotsford.
After the Stars: Two days after he faced the Heat with Texas, Roman was traded by Dallas to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Angelo Esposito and he was assigned to San Antonio and he made his Rampage debut on January 16, 2011 coincidentally against Abbotsford. He played in 16 games for San Antonio and was sent down to the Cincinnati Cyclones for three games in late March. Last season Roman returned to HC Vitkovice and he scored 34 points (8 goals, 26 assists) and had 34 penalty minutes in 52 Extraliga games.
Cody Eakin (C)
Stars Debut: October 13, 2012 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 35 GP, 24 Points (12 Goals, 12 Assists), 14 PIMs
Cody Eakin became the third player in Texas Stars history to wear the No. 20 jersey, but is the only player to wear that number and also play in the NHL. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the third round (85th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and he played four full seasons of major junior hockey in the WHL for the Swift Current Broncos and the Kootenay Ice. During his first pro season, 2011-12, Eakin played for the AHL’s Hershey Bears and also made his NHL debut with 30 games for Washington.
Eakin actually made his pro debut at the tail end of the 2009-10 season after signing an ATO with Hershey. He played in four regular season games and made his Calder Cup Playoff debut on May 22, 2010 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Hershey as the Bears won 3-2 in overtime to eliminate the Manchester Monarchs. He then played in four of the six Calder Cup Finals games against Texas, suiting up for Hershey in Games 1, 4, 5 and 6.
Eakin was acquired by the Dallas Stars, along with a second round pick in the 2012 draft on June 22, 2012 in a trade that sent Mike Ribeiro to Washington. Due to the NHL lockout, he started the 2012-13 season with Texas, making his Stars debut on October 13, 2012 at San Antonio, recording one assist in a 2-1 win. The next night Eakin scored two goals, including the game-tying shorthanded goal with 4:42 left in regulation, and he was named the game’s first star in a thrilling 4-3 shootout win over Charlotte that lasted nine rounds. Eakin was by far the team’s best player through the first half of the season, leading the team with 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) and had a +8 plus-minus rating in 35 games. He was recalled to Dallas on January 13, 2013 to attend the post-lockout NHL training camp and never looked back.
After the Stars: Eakin made the Dallas Stars opening night roster and played in all 48 games in the lockout-shortened season. He finished the season ranked sixth on the team with 24 points (7 goals, 17 assists) and had 31 penalty minutes as he established himself as an NHL regular. Eakin’s star is shining bright in Dallas and he will be a big contributor to the NHL club in the upcoming 2013-14 season.
Brett Ritchie (RW)
Stars Debut: April 5, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City
Stars Career Stats: 5 GP, 4 Points (3 Goals, 1 Assist), 0 PIMs
Brett Ritchie was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the second round (44th overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. The Orangeville, Ontario native played four seasons of major junior hockey in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and the Niagara IceDogs. When Niagara was eliminated from the 2013 OHL Playoffs, Ritchie joined Texas and made his professional debut on April 5, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City. His debut was a memorable affair as he scored a goal on the first shot of his pro career, just 2:06 into the first period. However, the Stars would end up losing their 2-0 lead and lost 3-2 when Barons forward Tanner House snuck one past goaltender Jack Campbell with just 15 seconds left in regulation.
Ritchie’s first five pro games went very well as he registered a point in all but one of those games, scoring three goals and adding an assist. He had more dramatics during his Calder Cup Playoff debut by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to beat Milwaukee 3-2 on April 26, 2013 in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. Ritchie played in all nine post-season games for the Stars and scored his second career AHL playoff goal on May 15, 2013 in Game 4 of the conference semifinals at Oklahoma City. Although he has played the fewest games of any Texas player wearing the No. 20 jersey, Ritchie is expected to make a big impact for the Stars during his first full season of pro hockey in 2013-14.