Brent Krahn (G) 2009-2011
Cristopher Nilstorp (G) 2012-2013
Brent Krahn (G)
Stars Debut: October 3, 2009 vs. San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 34 GP, Record: 23-10-0, 2.31 GAA, 0.928 Sv.%
Brent Krahn was the first player in Texas Stars history to wear No. 41, but that came shortly after he became the first player to wear the No. 37 jersey. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native was drafted by the Calgary Flames in the first round (9th overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and he played four years of major junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen and the Seattle Thunderbirds. He turned pro for the 2002-03 season, splitting time between the Lowell Lock Monsters and the San Antonio Rampage of the AHL, as well as the Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL. Krahn played the entire 2004-05 NHL Lockout season in Lowell and then moved to Nebraska when Calgary relocated its AHL affiliate to the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. He played two years in Omaha, making his Calder Cup Playoff debut in Game 4 of the West Division Semifinals against the Iowa Stars on April 25, 2007. He allowed three goals in the game and lost the Stars 3-2. Teammate Curtis McElhinney started the other five games for Omaha, who lost to Iowa in six games. Krahn and the Flames then moved to Moline, Illinois and became the Quad City Flames for the 2007-08 season. Struggling with recurring knee injuries, he only played in 28 games for Omaha in 2006-07, after playing in 57 games the previous year, and that fell off to just 14 games for Quad City in 2007-08. The Flames did not re-sign Krahn after one season in Quad City and he became an unrestricted free agent. He signed with the Dallas Stars on September 24, 2008 and played games for Las Vegas and the Chicago Wolves, as Dallas was without an AHL affiliate during 2008-09. Krahn made his NHL debut with the Stars that year, coming on in relief of starter Marty Turco on February 14, 2009 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Krahn was assigned to the Texas Stars for the inaugural 2009-10 season at Cedar Park Center. He began the year in the No. 37 jersey, making his debut for Texas in the team’s first ever regular season game on October 2, 2009 at San Antonio, making 35 saves in a 3-2 loss to the Rampage. Shortly after defenseman Brad Lukowich was loaned to the Stars by the Vancouver Canucks, Krahn approached Texas Stars head equipment manager Brian “Elvis” Garcia about the possibility of a number swap. He offered his No. 37 to Lukowich and chose No. 41 as a replacement. The exchange required some time, because Krahn needed a No. 41 made in the specific “goalie cut” and Lukowich needed a No. 37 without that particular tailoring. So both players remained in their respective numbers for two more games.
When the new jerseys arrived, he pulled on the No. 41 jersey for the first time on October 15, 2009 against Grand Rapids and made his first start in the new number on October 17, 2009 at Houston. Krahn continued to struggle with injuries, showing stellar form when on the ice, but finding it difficult to stay healthy. After losing his first-ever start for Texas, he won his next ten in a row, also recording three shutouts during that span. His streak ended on November 22, 2009 with a narrow 3-1 loss at Chicago and then, because of injury, didn’t play again until March 10, 2010 against Peoria. He was named the Stars starter going into the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs and made his first career AHL post-season start in Game 1 of the West Division Semifinals beating the Rockford IceHogs 2-1. Krahn and the Stars swept Rockford in the first round and dueled with the Chicago Wolves in the West Division Finals. He won Games 1, 4 & 5 to give Texas a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series, but had his post-season derailed at 14:59 of the first period of Game 6 on May 9, 2010 at Allstate Arena. Krahn suffered an injury in the first period that forced him to leave the game, replaced by backup Matt Climie. His injury was severe enough that he couldn’t even serve as the backup goaltender again until Game 5 of the Calder Cup Finals on June 11, 2010, a full month later. With Hershey leading Texas 3-2, the series went back to Pennsylvania and Krahn got the start for Game 6 at Giant Center, his first action since the injury in Chicago. He made 32 saves, but allowed four goals as the Bears out-shot the Stars 36-22 in the game and won 4-0 to clinch the 2010 Calder Cup championship.
Krahn returned for the 2010-11 season appeared in nine games over the first 30 days of the regular season. He won his start on November 10, 2010 against Chicago, stopping 20 of the mere 22 shots he faced in a 3-2 victory. Krahn would not see the ice again for almost three months. He returned from injury on February 4, 2011 and played three games over the next two weeks, but never featured in another game for Texas. His last appeared for the Stars came of February 16, 2011, a 4-2 loss to the Lake Erie Monsters at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
Krahn is the Stars all-time leader in career goals-against average (2.31) and save percentage (0.928), while ranking second in shutouts (6) and shootout percentage (0.786). Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that he is tied for second in most franchise wins (23), especially considering he ranks sixth in all-time games played (34). Additionally, Krahn was a perfect 2-0 in the only two shootouts he participated in for Texas, stopping 11-of-14 shootout attempts faced.
After the Stars: Krahn was left off the Stars Clear Day roster for the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs and became a free agent after the season ended. He retired after the 2010-11 campaign.
Cristopher Nilstorp (G)
Stars Debut: October 13, 2012 at San Antonio
Stars Career Stats: 39 GP, Record: 19-13-3, 2.38 GAA, 0.907 Sv.%
Cristopher Nilstorp is the second player in Texas Stars history to wear the No. 41 jersey. The Malmö, Sweden native was undrafted, having develop through his hometown club’s youth system. He played for the Malmö Redhawks at the junior level, first breaking into the Swedish Elitserien, now known as the Swedish Hockey League (SHL), as a junior-aged player during the 2003-04 season. At the age of 22, Nilstorp left Malmö to play for Rögle BK in the Allsvenskan, the second-highest level of pro hockey in Sweden, where he helped the team earn promotion into the SHL. After four years with Rögle, he joined Färjestads BK for the 2010-11 season. He played in 23 games during the regular season, and then made five appearances in the playoffs, helping Färjestads win the 2011 Le Mat Trophy as the SHL champions, beating Skellefteå AIK in the Finals in five games. The next year (2011-12) Nilstorp played in 45 games for Färjestads, leading them into the SHL Semifinals, but lost to Brynäs IF in five games. After the season ended he represented Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championships, which were hosted by Sweden and Finland that year. Nilstorp did not play in any games, but earned enough notice from his play during the season to sign as a free-agent with the Dallas Stars to a one-year, two-way contract on June 5, 2012.
At the age of 28 he ventured to North America for the first time as a pro, but due to the NHL lockout, he wasn’t able to compete for a roster spot in Dallas. Nilstorp made his North American debut with the Texas Stars on October 13, 2012 at San Antonio, getting the nod for the season opener and stopping 18-of-19 shots in a 2-1 victory. He had an up-and-down regular season as he acclimated to the change in ice surface dimensions. Nilstorp came on strong and made 21 saves to record his first career AHL shutout on November 15, 2012 vs. San Antonio. He then recorded his second consecutive shutout by making 22 saves and stopping 8-of-9 shootout attempts in a 1-0 win over Charlotte on November 17, 2012, but had his shutout streak snapped at 154:56 on November 21, 2012 vs. Oklahoma City, falling 8:29 short of Todd Ford’s Texas Stars franchise record. After the lockout ended, Nilstorp made his NHL debut with Dallas on January 20, 2013 at Minnesota. He hit a speed bump when he suffered an injury against St. Louis during his second NHL game, a setback in his quest to earn a permanent roster spot in Dallas. He came back to Texas and returned to health, eventually getting his second NHL call-up. This time he would record his first NHL victory on February 23, 2013, stopping 31-of-32 shots to pick up a 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks. Nilstorp returned to Texas and helped the Stars finish in first place in the Western Conference regular season standings and was named the team’s starter for the 2013 Calder Cup Playoffs. He started all nine post-season games for Texas, eliminating Milwaukee in the Western Conference Quarterfinals 3-1, but then losing to the Oklahoma City Barons in five games in the Conference Semifinals.
Nilstorp would have become an unrestricted free agent on July 5, 2013, but instead re-signed with Dallas to another one-year, two-way contract on June 17, 2013.