ATLANTA (June 24, 2006) -- The Atlanta Thrashers have acquired forward Niko Kapanen and a seventh-round selection, 210th overall, in today's 2006 NHL Entry Draft from the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Patrik Stefan and defenseman Jaroslav Modry, according to Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell.
Kapanen, 28, set career highs with 14 goals and 35 points in 81 games with Dallas last season. The 5-9, 180-pound center earned one assist in five playoff games in 2005-06. He recorded 42 points (nine goals, 33 assists) in 44 games with Zug of the Swiss National A League in 2004-05.
The native of Hattula, Finland, has earned 76 points (20 goals, 56 assists) and 98 penalty minutes in 239 NHL games with the Stars. Kapanen, who earned nine points (five goals, four assists) in 18 playoff games with Dallas, registered a career-high 29 assists in a career-best 82 games during his first full NHL season in 2002-03. Kapanen, who was selected in the sixth round, 173rd overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, spent five years with the Stars organization.
Prior to joining the Dallas for the 2001-02 season, Kapanen spent six seasons in the Finnish Elite League with HPK Hameenlinna and TPS Turku from 1995-2001, notching 166 points (60 goals, 106 assists) and 165 penalty minutes in 258 regular-season games, and 29 points (10 goals, 19 assists) in 36 playoff contests. He topped 30 points in each of his final three seasons in Finland.
Stefan, 25, was the first draft selection in Thrashers history after being taken first overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, and the team's lone remaining player from the 1999-2000 Inaugural Season. The native of Pribram, Czech Republic, collected 177 points (59 goals, 118 assists) in a franchise-record 414 games from 1999-2006. Modry, 35, has earned 223 points (47 goals, 176 assists) in 569 NHL games with New Jersey, Ottawa, Los Angeles and Atlanta.