Former first-round pick Jack Campbell assigned to the ECHL

Former first-round pick Jack Campbell was assigned to the ECHL’s Idaho Steelheads on Monday, while Henri Kiviaho was recalled and joined the Texas Stars.

Campbell is in the midst of his worst professional season. He’s become the de facto back-up in Texas and has watched the last seven games from the bench, the longest stretch of his career — likely his life — he’s gone without starting while he was healthy.

When he has played, Campbell has posted a 3-10-4 record, .890 save percentage, and 3.36 goals against average. His goals against average ranks 45th in the AHL amongst goalies who have played at least 900 minutes, his save percentage ranks 47th.

“Over the last two years, thanks to injuries, he just hasn’t played a lot of hockey,” Dallas general manager Jim Nill said. “He’s a young kid and he’s got to get playing some games. We looked and there is a great schedule (in Idaho), and we had a talk with him. We said, ‘Go down there for a week or two and get some playing time.’ It’s a chance he could play nine games in 14 or 15 days.”

Nill said Campbell was receptive to the plan and the goalie was “excited” to have a chance for more playing time. Dallas will play the situation “by ear” and there isn’t a definitive timeline for how long Campbell will spend in the ECHL.

While Campbell is in the ECHL Jussi Rynnas will likely start the majority of the games for Texas. Nill said who starts in Texas is Derek Laxdal’s decision and he trusts the coach to make the right choice.

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