With the Capitals in “Big D” tonight they’ll be facing a squad that has one of the more underrated players in the NHL. John Klingberg, of the Dallas Stars, who tied for the defenceman league lead with Tyson Barrie, has 27 points and continues to log heavy minutes (over 23 mns/gm) for the Stars who find themselves in the last wildcard spot in the West.
Drafted in the Fifth Round (131st overall) of the 2010 draft, Klingberg toiled in Sweden where he steadily improved before staying for good with Dallas in the 2014-15 season. He’s on pace for his best season so far and likely would garner more fan attention outside Texas had he played Juniors in North America. In 2012 he helped Sweden win World Junior Gold and again repeated a championship on the world stage at the 2017 World Championships.
Like Ovi, Klingberg likes to direct the puck to the net and the last game was his first in 10 without registering a shot. Though his goal totals are down he is spreading the O out and helping the more dynamic players like Benn, Seguin, and Radulov do their thing. He’s excellent on the Power Play, using that shot, and skates very smoothly while exiting his zone. At 6’2″ and only 180 pounds, he is not the not the most physical presence in the game, but he makes up for it with good position play. Think Djoos but more experienced. At a $4.2M cap hit through the 2021-22 season, the Stars have excellent value in this player. Could be one of the best contracts in hockey to be honest. We thought we got a steal on John Carlson the last few years at $4M.
Let’s hope the Caps continue to forecheck hard and cycle the puck to wear down Klingberg and the rest of the Dallas defence.
Go Caps Go