CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced today that six skaters have signed AHL contracts with the team for the 2020-21 season. Forwards Nick Baptiste, Cole Schneider, Nick Moutrey, Derek Barach, and Nikita Scherbak will all join the club for the first time, while forward Josh Melnick returns for his second season with the Stars.
Melnick, 25, enters his second pro season with the Stars after logging 16 points (5-11=16) in 55 AHL games in his rookie campaign. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound center from Annandale, New Jersey led the Stars forwards last year with a +9 rating and was third among rookies on the team in points and goals. His overtime winner on Jan. 2, 2020 against the Chicago Wolves helped open the 2020 calendar year on a five-game winning streak. The former Miami University captain logged 107 points (38-69=107) across 140 NCAA games from 2015 to 2019, pacing the RedHawks with 26 points (10-16=26) in his senior campaign.
Baptiste, 25, comes to the Stars after five professional seasons in the AHL and NHL. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound winger has played in 265 AHL games while recording 127 points (63-64=127) in addition to 47 NHL games and 10 points (7-3=10). In 2019-20, Baptiste split the season between the Toronto Marlies and Belleville Senators for a combined 11 points (4-7=11) in 35 games. The Ottawa, Ontario native was taken in the third round of the 2013 NHL Draft after four years in the OHL where he captained the Sudbury Wolves and helped the Erie Otters to the 2015 Robertson Cup Final.
Schneider, 30, begins his ninth pro season after collecting 46 points (18-28=46) in 54 games with the Milwaukee Admirals in 2019-20. The 6-foot-1, 203-pound winger was second on the Admirals in scoring last season and ranked fourth in the AHL with a +25 rating. Schneider is an AHL veteran with 543 games played and 411 points (168-243=411) including 54 power play goals and 11 shorthanded goals. The Williamsville, New York native had his most prolific season in 2016-17 where he ranked sixth in the AHL with 63 points (24-39=63) in 71 games for the Rochester Americans. That season he was also selected for the 2017 All-Star Classic.
Barach, 25, is in his second pro season and began the year with the Indy Fuel in the ECHL before the start of the AHL campaign, earning seven points (3-4=7) in seven games. Barach collected 13 points (7-6=13) in 47 games with the Cleveland Monsters in 2019-20 and previously added 11 points (7-4=11) in 15 games at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. Before turning pro, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound center captained Mercyhurst University from 2017 to 2019 and led the team in scoring in three of his four seasons. The Glenmont, NY native ranks 11th in school history with 144 career points (49-95=144) in 150 games.
Moutrey, 25, comes to the Stars ready for his sixth pro season. The 6-foot-3, 207-pound skater took the ice with the Rockford IceHogs for 52 games last season and collected 11 points (5-6=11). The forward has played in 253 career AHL games and earned 55 points (25-30=55) in those games. The Toronto, Ontario native’s career also includes a 2016 Calder Cup title with the Lake Erie Monsters as a rookie. Moutrey was drafted in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL Draft and played four years in the OHL with the Saginaw Spirit and North Bay Battalion.
Scherbak, 25, returns to North America for his sixth pro season after spending the 2019-20 campaign in the KHL where he recorded 11 points (3-8=11) in 31 games. Prior to departure to the KHL, the 6-foot-1, 174-pound forward produced 106 points (32-74=106) in 168 AHL games and eight additional points (6-2=8) in 37 NHL games. The Russian winger was selected in the first round with the 26th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Scherbak led all WHL rookies with 28 goals, 50 assists, and 78 points in his first junior season.
The Texas Stars are the primary development affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars. For more information, call (512) GO-STARS (467-8277) or visit TexasStars.com.
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