Greg Rallo (C) 2009-2011
Angelo Esposito (C) 2011-2012
Antoine Roussel (C) 2012-2013
Greg Rallo (C)
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 147 GP, 98 Points (45 Goals, 53 Assists), 71 PIMs
Greg Rallo was the first player in Texas Stars history to wear the No. 27 jersey and has played in more games in that number than anyone else for the club. The Gurnee, Illinois native was undrafted after playing two years of junior hockey for the Springfield Jr. Blues of the NAHL and four years of NCAA Division I college hockey for Ferris State University of the CCHA. Rallo made his pro debut for the Idaho Steelheads of the ECHL at the end of the 2005-06 season, his senior year at Ferris State. He joined Idaho for the 2006-07 season and earned 28 AHL games on call-ups to the Iowa Stars. He returned to the Steelheads for his second full season in 2007-08, earning AHL stints with the Albany River Rats, Rockford IceHogs and Manitoba Moose. His first full season in the AHL came with Manitoba in 2008-09, where he played with Stars defenseman Maxime Fortunus and helped the Moose reach the 2009 Calder Cup Finals, but lost to the Hershey Bears in six games.
Rallo joined the Texas Stars for the inaugural 2009-10 season, making his Stars debut in the No. 27 jersey on October 2, 2009 at San Antonio. His first goal for Texas came in his second game of the season, on October 3, 2009 vs. San Antonio, when he scored the game-winning goal with 15 seconds left in overtime to beat the Rampage 3-2. It was the first of his franchise-leading four career overtime goals. Rallo had a strong season, playing in 69 games and scoring 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists) which was tied for fourth on the team. During the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs, he played in every single game for the Stars, scoring ten points (3 goals, 7 assists) and a plus-7 rating. He scored a huge goal in Game 1 of the Finals on June 3, 2010 at Hershey, tying the game at one at 9:57 of the second period, setting the table for Scott McCulloch’s game-winner early in the third period.
Rallo returned to the Stars for the 2010-11 season and had the best offensive season of his pro career. He led the team with 26 goals, 54 points and seven game-winning goals, and was second with 28 assists, in 78 regular season games. That year he also set the single-season franchise record for most shots with 254 shots on goal during the year. Rallo played in all six playoff games in the Stars’ 2011 first round playoff loss to the Milwaukee Admirals, scoring two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and posting eight penalty minutes.
Rallo has appeared in 147 career AHL games for Texas, registering 98 points (45 goals, 53 assists) and 71 penalty minutes. He holds the Stars all-time franchise lead in overtime goals (4) and empty net goals (5), while ranking third in game-winning goals (10), fourth in power play goals (16), fifth in goals, sixth in points and shots (405) and tied for ninth in games played. He ranks second on the team’s all-time playoff list for shots (89) and is tied for fifth in both games played (30) and power play goals (2).
After the Stars: Rallo signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers on July 2, 2011 and began the year with the San Antonio Rampage. He made his NHL debut with Florida on December 18, 2011 vs. Carolina, the only NHL game he played that year. Rallo re-signed with Florida for the 2012-13 season and spent most of the year with the Rampage, but did appear in 10 more NHL games with the Panthers during the lockout-shortened season. He scored his first career NHL goal, his first-ever NHL point, on April 2, 2013 at Tampa Bay in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Lightning. Rallo will once again try to add to his NHL totals this season with Florida as he signed a new one-year two-way contract with the Panthers on July 16, 2013.
Angelo Esposito (C)
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, becoming the second player in team history to wear that number. He played the remainder of the season as the No. 27 and 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 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.
Antoine Roussel (C)
Stars Debut: October 13, 2012 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 43 GP, 19 Points (8 Goals, 11 Assists), 107 PIMs
Antoine Roussel was the third player in Texas Stars history to wear the No. 27 jersey, and the first to wear that number for Texas and then go play in the NHL with Dallas. The Roubaix, France native was undrafted after playing four years of major junior hockey for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL. He made his professional debut with the Providence Bruins in the 2010-11 season, picking up eight points (1 goal, 7 assists) and 88 penalty minutes, while also playing five regular season ECHL games and eight Kelly Cup Playoff games for the Reading Royals. Roussel signed with the Chicago Wolves for the 2011-12 season and had a career-high 177 penalty minutes, along with nine points (4 goals, 5 assists) in 61 regular season games. He also made his Calder Cup Playoff debut with the Wolves, appearing in two games of their first round series with the San Antonio Rampage. He has played for Team France in multiple international junior and senior-level tournaments, including the 2012 IIHF World Championships in Finland and Sweden, which helped him get noticed by the Dallas Stars. Roussel signed a two-year, two-way contract with Dallas on July 2, 2012.
Roussel made his Texas debut on October 13, 2012 at San Antonio, the opening night of the 2012-13 season. He enjoyed a breakout season with the Stars, setting career highs in goals (8), assists (11) and points (19) as a pro in just 43 AHL games, before earning a spot in Dallas after the lockout ended; he also had 107 penalty minutes, which still led Texas at the end of the season. Roussel made his NHL debut with Dallas and scored his first NHL goal on his first-ever shot on February 1, 2013 vs. Phoenix. After five games in the NHL, he returned to the AHL for two road games at Hamilton and Toronto one week later, but then was recalled to Dallas where he stayed for the rest of the year. Roussel finished the season with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists ) and 85 penalty minutes in 39 NHL games for the Stars. When the NHL regular season ended, he returned to Europe where he again represented Team France at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.