Dillon Heatherington Recall Adds to Veteran D Woes in Cedar Park

(Credit: Taylor Sammarco/Texas Stars)
When it rains, it pours. The Dallas Stars have recalled defenseman Dillon Heatherington to the NHL, leaving Texas in quite a lurch regarding their veteran defensive skaters. With Reece Scarlett out for the season and Gavin Bayreuther on the shelf temporarily, Heatherington's departure leaves just Joel Hanley as the only Texas defenseman not in his first or second year in the league.

That list of remaining defenseman is Hanley, Shane Hanna, Ben Gleason, Niklas Hansson, John Nyberg and Ondrej Vala.

More information is needed on Connor Carrick's health and the timetable for Stephen Johns's return before anything can be said definitively. However, if both continue to be out and the Texas Stars continue to struggle on goals against (3.7/gm, #20 in AHL), a more permanent solution may be needed that could involve getting another body in Cedar Park.

Unless Bayreuther is ready for tomorrow's game against Bakersfield, I would expect a recall from Idaho to get to seven defensemen.

Here's the release:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has recalled defenseman Dillon Heatherington from the Texas Stars, Dallas' top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Heatherington is the second Stars skater to earn a call-up to the NHL this season, joining Justin Dowling in Dallas.

Heatherington, 23, has appeared in ten games for Texas this season, recording four points (1-3=4) and six penalty minutes. He made his NHL debut with Dallas during the 2017-18 season, recording one assist (0-1=1) and 26 penalty minutes in six games played. With Texas last season, he posted 17 points (3-14=17) in 55 regular-season games played. In 21 Calder Cup Playoff contests, he added three assists (0-3=3) and 18 penalty minutes.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound native of Calgary, Alberta was originally selected by Columbus in the second round (50th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. He was acquired by Dallas from Columbus in exchange for left wing Lauri Korpikoski on March 1, 2017.

Texas will return to action tomorrow night at 9 p.m. CT facing the Bakersfield Condors at Rabobank Arena, continuing the team’s weekend road trip through California.