The Dallas Stars announced Monday that they’ve acquired defenceman Kris Russell from the Calgary Flames in exchange for defenceman Jyrki Jokipakka, forward Brett Pollock and a 2016 conditional 2nd round pick.
Great return for the Flames in Kris Russell deal. Love the condition on the 2nd round pick. Could get even better for Calgary.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) February 29, 2016
The 28-year-old Russell adds more experience and defensive-minded play to a Stars club looking to make a deep push into the NHL playoffs this season. Russell, who was drafted 67th overall in 2005 by the Columbus Blue Jackets, has spent the last three season in Calgary where he racked up 78 points (15g-63a) in 198 games over that span.
While he’s not the most offensive minded defender, Russell adds depth to a team that has struggled in the playoffs over the past few seasons. He comes with character and leadership that can only be a bonus to Dallas down the stretch.
Most blocked shots since 2012-13:#DallasStars Kris Russell: 715
Dan Girardi: 627
John Carlson: 595
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) February 29, 2016
Jokipakka, 24, was drafted by Dallas in 2011 and has 16 points (2g-14a) in 40 career NHL games. Pollock – also a Stars’ pick – is just 19 years old. He’s currently playing with the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings where he’s picked up 67 points in just 63 games this season. He can play any forward position and has a strong ability to protect the puck off the boards.
The second-round pick becomes a first in 2016 if Dallas makes it to the Conference Finals and Russell plays in half of the games in the Stars’ first two playoff rounds.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.