Mattias Backman joins Hershey in move with Stars

Photo: Andy Nietupski

The Hershey Bears hockey team has received defenseman Mattias Backman on loan from Dallas Stars, and in exchange, the Washington Capitals have loaned defenseman Darren Dietz to the AHL’s Texas Stars.

Backman, 24, has appeared in 41 AHL games with Texas this season, registering 11 points (three goals, eight assists) and a team-leading plus/minus rating of +9. The native of Linkoping, Sweden is in his second full season in the Dallas organization. He enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2015-16 with Texas, collecting 32 points (eight goals, 24 assists) and a +18 rating in 69 contests.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound defender won a gold medal with Sweden at the 2012 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships. He was originally drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL Draft. He skated in 20 games with Detroit’s AHL affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins, before being dealt to Dallas on March 1, 2015. In total, Backman has appeared in 131 AHL games, scoring 47 points (11 goals, 36 assists) with 64 penalty minutes and a +22 rating.

Dietz, 23, has appeared in 39 games this season for Hershey with 12 points (6-6=12). The 6-foot-1, 213-pound defenseman has appeared in 205 AHL games in his career with Hershey, the St. John’s IceCaps and Hamilton Bulldogs. The Medicine Hat, Alberta native also has 13 games of NHL experience with the Montreal Canadiens with a goal and five assists.

Dietz was a fifth-round pick of Montreal (138th overall) in 2011.