Miro Heiskanen, who joined Dallas as the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, entered restricted free agency hoping for a substantial raise on the $832,000 base salary he earned in 2021. Mission accomplished.
The 6’1” defenseman cashed in Saturday, remaining with the Stars on an eight-year, $67.6-million extension through the 2028-29 season. Heiskanen’s $8.45-million AAV (average annual value) is sixth-highest in the league among defensemen, trailing only Erik Karlsson ($11.5M), Drew Doughty ($11M), Roman Josi ($9.06M), P.K. Subban ($9M) and Alex Pietrangelo ($8.8M).
The 21-year-old achieved All-Star status as a rookie in 2019, then led Dallas in postseason scoring in 2020 with 26 total points (six goals, 20 assists). A native of Espoo, Finland, Heiskanen logged just under 25 minutes per game this past season (24:58), ninth-most among NHL skaters. He boasts career totals of 28 goals, 67 assists, 466 shots on goal and 40 penalty minutes over 205 appearances since debuting in 2018.
The Stars, who surprisingly missed the playoffs this year after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in 2020, reportedly won’t protect veteran goaltender Ben Bishop (who has agreed to waive his “no-movement” clause), allowing the Seattle Kraken to potentially poach him in next week’s expansion draft. A former All-Star and three-time Vezina Trophy finalist, Bishop sat out all of last season while recovering from knee surgery.