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In 'emotional' trade, Stars deal leading scorer Urdahl for defensive reinforcement
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STARS HOCKEY

In 'emotional' trade, Stars deal leading scorer Urdahl for defensive reinforcement

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Zach Urdahl, Lincoln Stars

The Lincoln Stars traded Zach Urdahl, shown here in 2019, to Des Moines on Tuesday.

Desperate times for the Lincoln Stars call for desperate measures, even if that includes trading its leading goal scorer.

Lincoln on Tuesday dealt Zach Urdahl to the Des Moines Buccaneers in exchange for Bucs defenseman Trevor Mitchell, a 2021 Phase II first-round pick and future considerations.

The acquisition of Mitchell bolsters a Lincoln defense that recently lost Tony Follmer to season-ending shoulder surgery. That left just Carter Schade and Dalton Norris with at least two seasons of USHL experience on the Stars blue line.

“That’s four veterans that we’ve lost in the last month and a half,” Stars general manager and head coach Chris Michael said. “To bring in another defenseman, a big body who plays hard and defends well, you look at our struggles defensively this year, we’re helping address that. It also takes some pressure off the defensemen who have been playing a lot of minutes in the last couple of weeks.”

The 6-foot-4 Mitchell, who is committed to Western Michigan, joins the Stars after playing 20 games for Des Moines. He has a goal and an assist.

Urdahl played 83 games for Lincoln over the course of three years. He led the Stars in the 2019-20 season in rookie scoring with nine goals and finished with 21 points. Urdahl led the Stars this season with 14 goals and 22 points.

“It’s never easy when you move on from a kid that’s given the organization as much as Zach has for three years,” Michael said. “It’s emotional. It’s not only hard on us as a staff, but the rest of the guys and the brothers in the room. We thought long and hard for a while on it. It’s our job to make sure we’re trying to get better every single day.”

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