When the Dallas Stars took Tobias Stephan 34th overall in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, they knew what they were getting. At 6'2" 190, Stephan is a tall and skinny young goaltender who plays mainly a stay-at-home butterfly style, with some floppiness to his game. He is currently playing for the AHL's Iowa Stars after spending 4 years with Kloten of the Swiss League.
Tonight, he was on his game. The "Baby"-Stars picked up a 6-0 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs on "Carey Price Bobblehead Night", with Stephan getting the shutout. Stephan wasn't too busy, facing only 23 shots, but stopping them all. The lackluster Bulldogs' offense only managed shots from the outside, a goalie's dream. Stephan was very square, but did not challenge very much. He stayed deep in his net, but kept the rebounds to a minimum.
He uses his long legs to his advantage, spreading them out low on point shots, virtually eliminating all goals from that area. His glove hand is not exceptionally great, but it's passable. His strength could also use some work, being only 190 pounds, he could really benefit from adding some muscle.
Stephan wears a Tim Thomas-like "Mage" helmet, that really bugs me. I prefer the classic goalie helmet a lot more. He was also called up for a brief stint this season with Dallas, losing 2-1 in overtime to Chicago on October 13th, 2007, so you may have heard his name. His future also looks very bright, as Mike Smith was traded to Tampa Bay at the deadline, leaving the back-up spot open if the Stars decide to dump Johan Holmqvist.
As for the Bulldogs side of things, it wasn't pretty. Yann Danis did not come out for the 3rd period, after letting in 5 goals. Fatigue was definitely an issue, and penalties really killed the Bulldogs. Cedrick Desjardins, who I interviewed earlier this season, got the nod for the 3rd period, and allowed 1 goal. He stopped 3 breakaways and made on left toe save on what many thought was a sure goal. Now the Desjardins has the full-time backup spot in Hamilton (Due to the Huet-to-Washington deal) he was looking to make an impression, and he played well. I would definitely give him the next start, especially since one of the goals on Danis was a dump in which he bobbled, and was banged in by an Iowa forward.
To conclude, Tobias Stephan is another young, promising goaltender playing in the "A." His future is in his hands, like most young netminders. His situation in the Stars' organization bodes well for him, and he should compete for the NHL back-up job in Dallas next season.