Dan Jancevski (D) 2009-2010
Severin Blindenbacher (D) 2010-2011
Brenden Dillon (D) 2010-2013
Kevin Connauton (D) 2012-2013
Dan Jancevski (D)
Stars Debut: October 2, 2009 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 78 GP, 23 Points (3 Goals, 20 Assists), 71 PIMs
Drafted by the Dallas Stars in the second round (66th overall) of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, defenseman Dan Jancevski already had 616 career AHL games and 9 career NHL games on his resume before he signed with the Texas Stars for the inaugural 2009-2010 season. The Windsor, Ontario native was the first Stars player to wear No. 4, making his debut for Texas on October 2, 2009 at San Antonio. Jancevski appeared in 78 games for the Stars that season, recording 23 points (3 goals, 20 assists) and 71 penalty minutes. He has the fourth highest single-season plus-minus rating (+18) in team history (regular season). Jancevski appeared in all 24 playoff games for the Stars, helping the club reach the 2010 Calder Cup Finals. He holds the franchise record for best plus-minus (+12) in both a single post season and all-time in the playoffs, while ranking tied for third in post-season assists (11) and tied for 10th in games played.
After the Stars: Jancevski signed with the Philadelphia Flyers organization in the summer of 2010 and spent the next two seasons (2010-2012) with the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, the Adirondack Phantoms. He retired after the 2011-12 season.
Severin Blindenbacher (D)
Stars Debut: October 10, 2010 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 26 GP, 10 Points (1 Goal, 9 Assists), 10 PIMs
Severin Blindenbacher was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the ninth round (273rd) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, but never ended up joining the Coyotes organization in North America. Instead, the Zurich, Switzerland native stayed in his home country for the next eight seasons, playing in the top level National League A (NLA) for the Kloten Flyers and the Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions (ZSC Lions). Blindenbacher left his native land to play for Farjestads BK of the Swedish Elitserien (2009-10). In the summer of 2010 he signed a one-year free agent contract with the Dallas Stars. Blindenbacher brought with him a plethora of international experience; he represented Team Switzerland at two Under-18 World Junior Championships (WJC), three U-20 WJCs, six IIHF World Championships and two Winter Olympic Games: 2006 in Torino and 2010 in Vancouver. He had a solid training camp, but was assigned to Texas, where he made his North American and Stars debut on October 10, 2010 at San Antonio. Blindenbacher played in the first three games of the season, but was then sidelined for nearly a month when he suffered a concussion from a car accident in late October. He returned to the lineup in mid-November and earned his only NHL call-up to Dallas near the end of the month, but did not dress for a game. He returned to Texas and dealt with several injuries over the next three months. Blindenbacher’s last game for the Stars was on February 11, 2011 vs. Rockford. Shortly thereafter, it was announced that he was leaving the team and returning to Europe.
After the Stars: Following his departure from North America, Blindenbacher rejoined the ZSC Lions in Zurich for the 2011-12 season, helping the Lions win the 2012 NLA Championship. He continues to play for ZSC and has also appeared in two more IIHF World Championships for Switzerland. During the 2013 World Championships in Sweden and Finland, Blindenbacher helped the Swiss capture the silver medal, losing to Sweden 5-1 in the gold medal game.
Brenden Dillon (D)
Surrey, British Columbia
Stars Debut: March 22, 2011 vs. Houston
Stars Career Stats: 123 GP, 43 Points (9 Goals, 34 Assists), 150 PIMs
Looking back over the last three seasons, it’s hard to believe that Brenden Dillon went undrafted out of the Western Hockey League. What’s almost unfathomable is that for all of his youth hockey and most of his major junior career the six-foot-three, 230-pound Surrey, British Columbia native was deemed undersized. Of course, he was five-foot-two when he was 15 years old. Dillon grew 13 inches in five years and joined the Texas Stars on an Amateur Tryout contract (ATO) on March 22, 2011 after completing his fourth season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. The defenseman made his pro debut with the Stars that night against Houston. Dillon was held without a point in 10 games during the remainder of the 2010-11 season, but exploded in his first two games the following year. He tallied a career-best three assists in the season opener on October 9, 2011 vs. Oklahoma City and scored his first pro goal the very next game on October 14, 2011 vs. Houston. He appeared in 123 career AHL games for the Stars from 2010-2013, which makes him the longest tenured No. 4 jersey and ranks him 15th on the franchise all-time games played list. Dillon is fifth all-time in penalty minutes (150) and he recorded 43 points (9 goals, 34 assists) during his Texas career.
After the Stars: Dillon was recalled to Dallas on January 13, 2013 as the NHL Lockout came to an end. He made the Dallas Stars opening night roster and played in all 48 games of the shortened NHL schedule, registering eight points (3 goals, 5 assists). His play made him a candidate for the Calder Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL’s Rookie of the Year, and it opened up another door. Dillon was selected by Team Canada to play in the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Finland and Sweden. He made his international debut and scored one goal in eight games, losing to Sweden, the eventual gold medalists, in the quarterfinals.
Kevin Connauton (D)
Stars Debut: April 5, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City
Stars Career Stats: 9 GP, 6 Points (2 Goals, 4 Assists), 6 PIMs
The first time Kevin Connauton was draft-eligible (2008 NHL Entry Draft) all 30 NHL teams passed. The defenseman then chose to go play college hockey for Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He had a stellar freshman season, garnishing an honorable mention to the CCHA All-Rookie Team. That caught the attention of NHL scouts and during the 2009 draft he was selected by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round (83rd overall). The Canucks encouraged Connauton to play major juniors, so he signed with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL for the 2009-2010 season. Progress was definitely made as he set franchise records for most goals and points by a defenseman, while being named a WHL West First Team All-Star. Connauton then turned pro and spent most of the last three seasons with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate in Manitoba and then Chicago, earning a trip to the 2012 AHL All-Star Classic in Atlantic City, where he won the hardest shot contest (99.4 MPH) and scored the game-tying goal in the third period for the Western Conference All-Stars; they won in a shootout.
Connauton was acquired by the Dallas Stars on April 2, 2013 in a trade that sent Derek Roy to the Vancouver Canucks, Dallas also received a second round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He was immediately assigned to Texas and made his stars debut on April 5, 2013 vs. Oklahoma City. Connauton had an impressive six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and a plus-two rating in nine regular season games, which included scoring the game-winning goal a mere nine seconds into overtime on April 12th at Charlotte. He continued his hot hand in the playoffs, leading the Stars in scoring with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) in nine post-season games. On June 13, 2013 Connauton, a restricted free-agent, signed a new three-year contract with Dallas.