Stars Miro Heiskanen sets bar for young defensemen with 8-year, $67.6M extension

Stars Miro Heiskanen sets bar for young defensemen
Mar 16, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (4) in action during the game between the Dallas Stars and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Miro Heiskanen to an eight-year, $67.6 million contract extension on Saturday.

The pact will run through the 2028-29 season.

Star lock up Heiskanen long-term

Heiskanen, who turns 22 on Sunday, could have become a restricted free agent on July 28. He recorded 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 55 games this past season and averaged a team-best 24:58 of ice time per contest.

“It feels great to get this done,” Heiskanen said. “Of course there is a lot of work to be done and we’re very motivated to get back on the ice. It is very exciting to be a part of what (general manager) Jim (Nill) and his staff are building, and it’s important to reward them for the trust they’ve shown with this long-term commitment.”

miro heiskanen
Apr 10, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Stars defenseman Miro Heiskanen (4) takes the ice to face the Florida Panthers at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Heiskanen has collected 95 points (28 goals, 67 assists) in 205 career regular-season games. He has notched 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) in 40 playoff games, including 26 (six goals, 20 assists) in 27 games last year during the Stars’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.

“Since joining us, it has been clear that Miro is part of a collection of young, rising stars that are now playing in the National Hockey League,” Nill said of Heiskanen, who was selected by Dallas with the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.

“As an organization, we truly feel that Miro has just scratched the surface of his ability and will be in the Norris Trophy discussion for years to come. On behalf of (owner) Tom Gagliardi, his family, and our organization, we want to thank Miro for his commitment to the team and we all look forward to watching him as he continues to evolve into one of the elite players of the game.”

Setting the bar for Cale Makar and Adam Fox

The New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche were both just given a great contract comparable by the Dallas Stars. Miro Heiskanen’s 8 year deal worth $8.45 million per season helps set the bar. Both teams now know what it will take to sign their own respective young stars.

Colorado’s Cale Makar is an RFA this summer and Joe Sakic is looking to lock him up to a similar deal. The 22 year-old Makar was a runner up for the Norris Trophy.

Fox won the award becoming only the second sophomore next to Bobby Orr to win it. That should ensure the 23 year-old star a deal equal to or greater than Heiskanen’s.

He just wrapped up the second year of his three-year entry-level deal. The Blueshirts have an entire season to try and decide what to do for his next contract when he becomes an RFA without arbitration rights. Friedman on recent podcast said he believes the Rangers will talk to him about an extension as soon as the window opens this summer.

–Field Level Media contributed to this article