The Dallas Stars, parent club of the AHL’s Iowa Stars, announced today that they have acquired defenseman Dan Jancevski from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for right wing Junior Lessard. Jancevski has been assigned to Iowa, while Lessard has been assigned to Norfolk.
The Admirals also acquired center Paul Szczechura from Iowa as part of the deal.
Jancevski, 26, has made two appearances with Tampa Bay this season, going scoreless with two penalty minutes. He has also played in 37 games with the Norfolk Admirals this season, posting four goals and 16 assists for 20 points. Among team leaders, he ranked third in assists and tied for third in points.
The 6-foot-3, 218-pound defensemen was originally drafted by Dallas in the second round in 1999 (66th overall), and played in two games with the Stars during the 2005-06 season. Jancevski served as the Iowa Stars’ captain during their inaugural season in 2005-06, leading team defensemen in scoring with 38 points (9-29-38). He served as an alternate captain of the Hamilton Bulldogs last season during their Calder Cup championship campaign.
“Jancevski is a tough defenseman with experience,” said Iowa Stars director of hockey operations Scott White. “Any time you can acquire a top defenseman in the NHL it benefits the team. On top of that you add a quality individual that the fans will enjoy.”
The Windsor, Ont., native has played in 507 career AHL games, recording 32 goals and 129 assists for 161 points. He played in the AHL All-Star Classic in 2004.
Lessard, 27, is a 6-foot, 200-pound right wing from St-Joseph-de-Beauce, Que. He was the fourth-leading scorer with the AHL’s Iowa Stars this season with 10 goals and 11 assists for 21 points in 36 games. He also had appeared in two games with the NHL’s Dallas Stars, going scoreless with two penalty minutes.
The fourth-year pro has appeared in 238 career AHL games between Iowa and the Houston Aeros, scoring 74 goals and adding 79 assists for 154 points. He played in the 2006 AHL All-Star Classic in Winnipeg, scoring the game-winning goal for the Canadian AHL All-Stars. Last season, Lessard led Iowa in goals (27), points (52) and power-play goals (12).
Lessard, the 2004 Hobey Baker Award winner at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, made his NHL debut in the 2005-06 season with Dallas. In eight career NHL games with Dallas, he has two goals and 14 penalty minutes.
Szczechura, 22, is a 5-foot-11, 190-pound forward from Belleville, Ont. He ranked third among Iowa rookies in scoring this season with five points (2-3-5) in 29 games. He also has 15 penalty minutes.
Szczechura made his professional debut following the conclusion of his collegiate career at Western Michigan University last spring. In 43 career AHL games, he has five goals and seven assists with 34 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 10 Calder Cup Playoff games last season for Iowa, notching three goals and an assist with eight penalty minutes.