Radek Faksa and Alex Guptill will make their season debut for the Texas Stars against the Lake Erie Monsters tonight.
Faksa has been on a line with Matej Stransky and Kevin Henderson the past two days, while Guptill auditioned as the top-line right wing with Curtis McKenzie and Travis Morin.
Faksa played two games with Texas last season, while Guptill is making his professional debut after finishing his junior year at the University of Michigan.
“It’s pretty exciting, obviously it’s a ways away from Michigan and it’s nice to have the weather and all that,” Guptill said. “Finally to get in the lineup here, since we haven’t had a game in a week, I’m excited and the players I’m playing with our pretty good.”
Guptill said he almost joined Texas last year after his sophomore season, but stuck around for his junior year since, “he wasn’t quite ready.”
He then made the decision to turn pro after Michigan lost to Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament and missed out on at-large NCAA berth.
Guptill joined the team last week and said Curtis McKenzie, a former rival at Miami when both schools where in the CCHA, has helped him prepare for the pro game.
“We’ve talked a lot, the biggest thing is the strength and speed of the guys,” Guptill said. “It’s going to be interesting to see and stack up against that.”
John Klingberg also officially joined the team, but the Swedish defenseman will have to make his debut.
Klingberg and Jyrki Jokipakka are both expected to be healthy scratches, with William Wrenn and Hubert Labrie filling out the defensive pairings.
Texas lineup looked like this in morning skate:
Campbell in net
Mueller likely out
Texas likely won’t have Chris Mueller in the lineup with Ray Whitney’s injury in Dallas last night.
Mueller skated with Texas on Friday, but he was wearing a grey jersey with Taylor Vause and Taylor Peters — the healthy scratches for tonight.