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Heika: Dallas Stars Sign Curtis McKenzie to Two-Year Extension for $675K AAV

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The Stars have signed one of their final remaining restricted free agents to a two-year extension according to the Dallas Morning News.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of re-signing utility forward Patrick Eaves to a one-year contract extension, the Dallas Stars look set to bring back another lower-line utility forward from last year's roster as well, according to the immensely trustworthy Mike Heika.

And just a bit later, Heika had the terms of the deal:

That comes out to a $675,000 average annual value in terms of cap hit. The two-way nature of the deal for the first year is also interesting, as the Stars forward ranks and overall roster sports are relatively crowded at the moment. With the signings of Eaves and McKenzie, the Stars have 14 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies under contract who would be considered likely NHL candidates.

McKenzie, a restricted free agent coming off his entry-level deal that had a cap hit of $645,000, played 36 games for the Stars last season with four goals, one assist, a minus-five rating and 48 penalty minutes. He was the AHL's rookie of the year his previous season with the Texas Stars, tallying 27 goals and 38 assists for 65 points in 75 games, adding another 14 points in 21 playoff games.

A sixth-round draft pick in 2009, the 6-foot-2 left wing saw most of his success in March last season on a line of Shawn Horcoff and Brett Ritchie.

The signing leaves only defenseman Jamie Oleksiak as a pending restricted free agent who saw NHL time last season.

[Ed. note: The signing is now official. The official release from the team is below.]

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed left wing Curtis McKenzie to a two-year contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

McKenzie, 24, made his National Hockey League debut in 2014-15, scoring four goals and posting five points (4-1=5) with 48 penalty minutes in 36 games with Dallas. The forward also registered 21 points (6-15=21) and 46 penalty minutes in 31 AHL regular-season games with the Texas Stars. He also appeared in three games in the Calder Cup Playoff, registering two points (1-1=2).

In parts of three AHL seasons, he has earned 87 points (33-54=87) with 152 penalty minutes in 111 career regular-season contests. He has also recorded 16 points (4-12=16) in 26 Calder Cup Playoffs tilts and was a member of the Calder Cup winning Texas Stars in 2014. In 2013-14, he won the Dudley Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL's most outstanding rookie, his first full professional campaign.

"Curtis is a very mature young player who is hard-nosed and accountable," Nill said. "We look for him to continue growing all facets of his game and develop into an everyday NHL player."

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of Golden, British Columbia was originally selected by Dallas in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft.