Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the team has signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a six-year contract extension, which will run through the 2024-25 season. The six-year contract is worth $34,800,000 and has an average annual value (AAV) of $5,800,000.
Lindell, 24, recorded 32 points (11-21=32) in 82 regular-season games played for Dallas in 2018-19. On the season amongst team leaders, he finished first in blocked shots (161), second in time on ice per game (24:20), third in hits (143), tied for fifth in assists (21), and sixth in both goals (11) and points (32), setting career-highs in each category. His +14 plus/minus rating also finished tied for third on the team. His 11 goals on the season, along with Miro Heiskanen’s 12 and John Klingberg’s 10, marked the first time in franchise history that three defenseman scored 10-plus goals in a single season.
In the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he posted four points (1-3=4) in 13 games played. He led the team averaging 26:58 of time on ice per game, which currently ranks fourth-most among all NHL skaters, and was third in plus/minus (+4). Since time on ice records began being tracked in 1997-98, he became the first skater in the NHL to skate in 90% or more of his team’s penalty killing time in a playoff round, as he was on the ice for 90.1 percent of Dallas’ total PK time (34:01/37:45) in the second round of their seven-game series against St. Louis.
Having played in parts of four NHL seasons, all with the Stars, he has recorded 77 points (24-53=77) in 239 career regular-season games played.
“Esa is a consummate professional who has proven himself dependable in every situation and is just an absolute workhorse,” said Nill. “When you combine his strength, conditioning, hockey IQ and skill, he has become an integral part of this team. Along with John Klingberg and Miro Heiskanen, the three make up the foundation of a blueline that will not only be a strength for our club, but one that will be as good as any in the NHL for the foreseeable future.”
Lindell has represented his home country of Finland at several international tournaments, including the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the World Championships in both 2015 and 2016, the 2014 World Jr. Championship and the 2012 U-18 World Junior Championship. He has medaled twice, taking gold at the 2014 World Jr. Championship and silver at the 2016 World Championship.
The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Vantaa, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the third round (74th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.