Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill has completed one of the last big pieces of his summer to-do list, signing 24-year-old man-mountain Jamie Oleksiak to a one-year contract worth $964,688.
The 6-7 Big Rig is a big part of the Stars’ current backlog on the blueline. Under the Lindy Ruff administration, he played exactly half of the team’s 2016-17 games, earning five goals, two assists, and 37 PIMs in the process.
On the surface, he’s a very different case from his teammate, fellow Calder Cup champion (and fellow potential trade piece) Patrik Nemeth. Oleksiak failed to live up to his first-round-draft-pick pedigree after a too-early call-up from Cedar Park, while Nemeth struggled to return to form after losing his first full NHL season to a wrist laceration.
But conceivably, both D-men could benefit from once-and-future coach Ken Hitchcock’s historically defense-first scheme – and presumably, both will get the opportunity to show their aptitude for it come September training camp.
Of course, that’s discounting the possibility that the Stars are working on a sign-and-trade deal for Oleksiak (and for Nemeth as well). At any rate, we’ll undoubtedly learn more over the next few weeks.
The full release from the Dallas Stars website:
Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to a one-year, $964,688 contract.
Oleksiak, 24, registered seven points (5-2=7) in 41 regular-season games for Dallas in 2016-17. His five goals marked a career-high and were third amongst Stars defensemen. He has appeared in 119 regular-season contests over the past five years, all with Dallas, and has 19 career points (6-13=19).
Internationally, Oleksiak represented Canada, winning the bronze medal, at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
The 6-foot-7, 255-pound native of Toronto, Ontario was originally selected by Dallas in the first round (14th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft.