The Dallas Stars announced on Saturday that they have signed their first-round pick, 17-year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen, to a three-year entry level contract.
He spent the 2016-17 season playing for HIFK in the Finnish Elite League and recorded 10 points (five goals, five assists) in 37 games, while also representing Finland at both the under-20 and under-18 World Championships. He was the fourth-leading scorer among HIFK’s defensemen even though he was only 17 years old.
He was the first defenseman selected in the 2017 draft. The Stars were in a position to pick him after moving up four spots in the NHL draft lottery.
The obvious long-term goal for the Stars is for Heiskanen, a left-handed shot that they desperately needed on the blue line, could develop into a player that could one day play alongside John Klingberg on the team’s top-pairing. Defense and goal prevention has been an issue for the Stars in recent years, but with Klingberg, Julius Honka and now Heiskanen joining the organization they certainly have some impressive young talent on their defense.