Defenseman John Klingberg has signed a one-year, $7 million contract with the Anaheim Ducks, per NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes. Klingberg took a bit to sign in free agency and wasn’t able to land a long-term deal. So now he’ll head to a rebuilding Anaheim team looking to get back into the playoff mix in the West.
The deal isn’t a bad one for both sides. If Klingberg can stay healthy and regain All-Star form, he’ll end up getting a long-term deal somewhere. The Ducks have a few aging defensemen — Cam Fowler and Kevin Shattenkirk — plus a few youngsters who still need time to develop. Klingberg could operate on the PP1 with Shattenkirk or in place of him.
The Ducks have a few decent pieces on the PP with Klingberg, Trevor Zegras and sharp-shooter Frank Vatrano, another free agency signing. Anaheim’s PP was actually middle of the pack in 2021-22, ranked 14th at 21.9%. Twenty of Klingberg’s 47 points last season came with the man-advantage. Klingberg should be able to duplicate his numbers from last season if he’s given plenty of ice time and PP time.
John Klingberg hit the free agent market for the first time in his career. He debuted in the NHL with the Dallas Stars in 2014-2015. Klingberg has spent all eight years of his pro career in Dallas. His best season came in 2017-2018 when he played in 82 games and had eight goals and 59 assists for 67 total points. He played in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2020. Klingberg’s 2021-2022 season saw him play in 74 games and score six goals with 41 assists.
Once his entry-level contract ended after the 2014-2015 season, he was rewarded with a big extension. Klingberg signed a seven-year, $29.75 million contract as his second career deal that expired at the end of last year. He became a free agent for the first time, but the 29-year-old has inked the third contract of his career.