Dallas Stars Prospect Series: The curious case of Matěj Blümel

Nov 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Matej Blumel (22) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 13, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Dallas Stars right wing Matej Blumel (22) against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Stars have many quality forwards. Many executives will say that this is a ‘good problem to have’ to assure the team can compete regardless of any injuries throughout the season and into the playoffs. Matěj Blümel is a good forward to have in case as a backup in case someone gets injured.

Due to the ages and contract durations of the team’s older guard, most notably referring to Joe Pavelski being on a one-year deal and Jamie Benn having only two years left in his deal, the Stars and its fans can both agree that this is their current ‘cup window’.

This is the prime chance to bring the Stanley Cup to Dallas while the roster is full of veteran stability and contains an appropriate serving of youthful spirit from the likes of Jason Robertson, Wyatt Johnston, and more.

As such a situation was assessed, the Stars management took significant action this summer to stack the lineup and put the best possible roster forward while adhering to the salary cap and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Here is a recap of the notable forward acquisitions from this summer:

This is what a projected lineup could look like with these players:





Extras: Craig Smith, Fredrik Karlstrom, Logan Stankoven, Mavrik Bourque

See, even the likes of Logan Stankoven, one of the best hockey players not currently playing in the NHL, might not play for Dallas next season. When your lineup pushes players like Tyler Seguin down to the third line and forces coach Pete DeBoer to choose between Ty Dellandrea, Sam Steel, Craig Smith, Stankoven, and Mavrik Bourque for the last roster spots, the lineup could not be deeper.

This makes next season exciting for players, staff, and fans who will all be rooting for a deep playoff run that lasts 16 wins. However, there are some athletes who may not be able to enjoy such an adventure throughout the 2023-2024 regular season because of the logjam at forward.

Who does this matter to? Well, I feel for the prospects who are striving for NHL playing time who have just lost a year of that opportunity. This is not a selfish feeling to feel conflicted by how great the Dallas Stars NHL roster is becoming since it practically cements certain players in the American Hockey League (AHL) for 2023-2024 with less motivation regarding an NHL opportunity than last season.

Having so many quality forwards pushes the players who were once roster hopefuls out of roster contention entirely. A strong mindset is needed for those once-roster-hopefuls to be able to stay focussed on playing for your team and your organization without dwelling on statistics, requesting a trade, or any other negative reaction. One of these players that seems to be stuck in this situation is Matěj Blümel.

Dallas Stars Prospect Series: Matěj Blümel’s background

Matěj Blümel was drafted 100th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in 2019 after playing a great season with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL). His 2019 numbers in the USHL are a better indicator of talent than his Czechia U18 numbers from 2017 because of the small sample of players to come out of Czechia U18 and make the jump directly to the AHL or NHL (smart job by Blümel to get the exposure and opportunity in the USHL). Blümel also played in international tournaments for Team Czechia numerous times, often being in the top 5 for points on his team.


After being drafted in 2019, Blümel went back to Czechia to play in their men’s league for his 19-year-old season. He had an underwhelming year statistically at face value, but the full story is not available from just looking at his 5 points in 31 games. It is likely that he was not earning fair ice time compared to his teammates because of his young age. Since it was his first season playing against men, I’d argue he needed some time to adjust to the level of play.

He adjusted well enough to have back-to-back respectable seasons in his 20-year-old and 21-year-old seasons in Czechia but put up 0.49 points per game in his 21-year-old year compared to 0.65 points per game in his 20-year-old year (an unlikely regression for a young talent who earns his ice time against men).

Because of this assumed decline, he was not offered a contract by the Oilers by the summer 2022 deadline and became a free agent, where the Stars took the opportunity to sign Blümel to a two-year entry-level deal and give him a chance. Matěj Blümel proceeded to have an outstanding AHL rookie year, putting up 44 points in 58 games, finishing 16th in rookie scoring but 7th in rookie points per game with 0.76 (minimum 20 games played). Blümel should look to build off of this exciting first season in Texas.

Dallas Stars Prospect Series: Likeliness that he will make the Stars’ roster this season

1%. There is a chance, but it is minimal. Unfortunately, there are many forwards above him in both experience and favourability from a coaching perspective. Barring no injuries, Blümel will spend the 2023-2024 season with the Texas Stars in the AHL.

Personally, I would rank him in the 16th-18th best Stars forward range, but this does not mean that his affordable $925,000 waivers-exempt two-way contract wouldn’t be quite easy to bring up and down and squeeze into a lineup at certain points in the season depending on the Stars’ cap situation. All in all, we cannot pray for a plague to hit all the Stars roster players so Matěj Blümel gets a spot. That would be too far.

Dallas Stars Prospect Series: What he needs to work on

Matěj Blümel’s playstyle has few holes. He is a swift skater with great edges combined with good agility to create space for himself on the ice. Blümel also has a great shot, which has improved from previous years, and boasts good vision to be ready off-puck as well as creatively distribute the puck to others for the better of the team.

It would be unfair to ask the athlete to improve his physicality when he plays so low to the ice that his 6’0” listing seems exaggerated, but I would like to see him work on puck protection. He should look to learn from athletes like Sidney Crosby and Pavel Datsyuk on how to leverage their leg strength and skate edges with his puck skills and body positioning to effectively protect the puck in small areas.

A hockey executive once told me that “most of the game happens five feet from the boards”, and whether that rings true statistically or not, it is a good theme for what Matěj Blümel can prepare for as he looks to move up in professional hockey ranks. Boardplay happens often at the NHL level and a player who wins those battles consistently and effectively protects the puck will surely impress his teammates and management.

Matěj Blümel: Conclusion

Overall, building a Stanley Cup contender requires some hard decisions and strict standards for talent. Matěj Blümel could very well be an excellent bottom-six player for an NHL organization not named ‘the Dallas Stars’, but because of the abundance of talented forwards in Dallas, Blümel will likely be in the AHL for most of the 2023-2024 season. Blümel has a choice to make: Is he going to assume there is no NHL hope for him, give up, and let the Texas Stars AHL club down?

No. Matěj Blümel, along with the rest of those once-roster-hopefuls, will hopefully put his head down and get to work in search of personal hockey successes this upcoming season as well as achieving the AHL team goal of winning that coveted Calder Cup (AHL Championship).

Come NHL playoff time, if Dallas is alive and Texas and eliminated, Matěj Blümel’s effort and results are what will decide whether he deserves a call-up to the expanded NHL rosters. I wish him the best this season and hope that he earns such a call-up.