Stars defenseman Kevin Connauton sat in the locker room after Wednesday’s practice and talked about the couple times he almost got into games this season.

“Last game we all dressed for warm-ups and I really wasn’t sure. I was texting my family and friends saying ‘Hey it might be tonight. Keep an eye on the game’” he said. “Then in Colorado (Trevor) Daley had kind of tweaked his shoulder and they had me warm up just in case. Those were both moments that I thought maybe it was coming but it didn’t end up happening. I don’t know how to describe it. It almost feels like it is never going to come. “

But tonight it will come. The 23-year-old Connauton will make his NHL debut when the Dallas Stars take on the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center. He’ll play with Sergei Gonchar on the Stars’ third defensive pair.

“I’m extremely excited a little bit nervous” Connauton said after Thursday morning’s skate at American Airlines Center. “I never thought this moment was going to come the last couple years so it’s pretty surreal that it’s happening right now. I am going to try to make it through the day get a good nap in and get after it tonight.”

Connauton acquired last season from Vancouver in the Derek Roy deal has been a healthy scratch the first eight games of the season. He’s a slick skating defenseman who can move the puck. He’s got a hard shot as well.

“Great mobility. He’s used his size and reach well defending” said Stars coach Lindy Ruff. “We’ve had a couple of guys that have struggled so we are going to give him a look.”

Alex Goligoski who has struggled so far this season will come out of the lineup tonight to make room for Connauton.

This will be Connauton’s first game since the Sept. 27 preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers. Even though he hasn’t played in almost a month Connauton said he’s made strides while watching and practicing with the Stars.