The Dallas Stars have inked rookie defenseman John Klingberg to a seven-year, $29.75 million contract, according to a Dallas Morning News source.
If that’s true, it’s a risky move for Dallas, but one that could pay off nicely.
(Update: It’s true.)
At the age of 22, Klingberg played in his first full season in North America after recording 28 points in 50 Swedish league games in 2013-14. He proved to be one of this season’s top rookies with 11 goals and 40 points in 65 contests with Dallas this season. He logged 21:50 minutes of ice time per game, including an average of 2:56 minutes per contest with the man advantage. From an anlytics perspective, Klingberg also had a strong season with a 5-on-5 Fenwick For of 53.03% compared to Dallas’ 52.04% when he was off the ice. That suggests that the Stars did a better job of possessing the puck when he was on the ice.
Of course, we’re talking about just one season and not every player that excels out of the gate can build on or even maintain that level of play throughout his career.
But the Stars have faith.
“John is a very special player, possessing a creativity and skill level that few in this league can match,” said GM Jim Nill in a release. “He fits in perfectly with where our core is at age-wise and his impact on our team was felt immediately. We expect him to build off of his rookie season and continue his development towards becoming an elite all-around defenseman.”