Last summer, Stars owner Tom Gaglardi said his organization had the “deepest bench of defense prospects in the league.”
And now the club is getting an up-close look at one of them.
On Friday, the Stars announced they’ve signed Swedish blueliner Niklas Hansson to a three-year, entry-level deal that will begin next season. Hansson will join the organization immediately, however, as he’s signed an amateur tryout with the club’s AHL affiliate (Texas), allowing him to leave the SHL to ply his trade in North America.
Hansson, 21, was Dallas’ third-round pick at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft and is coming off a very good SHL campaign with HV71. He led the team’s defensemen in goals (seven) and points (22), and was among the top-10 blueliners in the league in goals scored.
As mentioned above, Hansson is part of Dallas’ promising group of defensive prospects. The club is also high on the likes of Esa Lindell, Mattias Backman, Ludwig Bystrom and Julius Honka — the latter being the club’s first-round pick (14th overall) at the 2014 draft.