Dallas Stars: Estimating Jamie Oleksiak’s Potential New Contract

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 12: Jamie Oleksiak
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 12: Jamie Oleksiak /

The Dallas Stars still need to sign Jamie Oleksiak to a new deal considering he is only a qualified RFA. But what will a new contract for the defenseman look like?

There’s one more qualified RFA left on the Dallas Stars roster that needs a new deal, preferably before the season begins. That’s defenseman Jamie Oleksiak. Hope you didn’t forget about him through all of the offseason havoc.

The 24-year-old is all that stands between the Dallas Stars and a clean sheet of free agents this season. But how will his contract (assuming the Stars do decide to re-sign him) pan out?

This is an interesting question considering Oleksiak’s current status with the team. He’s 24, has played on-and-off for Dallas since the lockout season in 2013, and has proven to be a shutdown force in the defensive zone, using his massive size and long reach to his advantage.

But even with all of his talents, he’s yet to secure a starting spot on the Dallas Stars blue line. Players like John Klingberg, Esa Lindell, Stephen Johns, and Julius Honka have passed him up over the past few seasons, leaving Oleksiak to fill the role of “seventh man” more often than not.

Dallas Stars
Dallas Stars /

Dallas Stars

The Stars also stocked their blue line considerably this offseason and will enter training camp with nine NHL-ready defenders. Carrying nine defenders is neither a plausible nor intelligent move for an NHL team, so something has to give. All nine players have NHL-caliber talent and therefore would be wasted with a full season in the AHL.

In addition to that, the Stars are dangerously close to hitting the cap wall. After multiple free agent signings in a jam-packed offseason, Dallas has less than $1 million in cap space ($768,333) to spend. With the overstocking on defense that they currently possess, making breathing room in their cap will come easiest by ridding themselves of a few defensemen. Oleksiak is one of the names being tossed around, along with Patrik Nemeth and Greg Pateryn.

So if Oleksiak is returning to the Stars at least for training camp or maybe even the regular season, what will his contract end up looking like?

Considering the current status of his situation, Oleksiak will probably be receiving a low-term offer probably coming in at one year. It is possible that he gets two, but one is probably a safe bet. He likely has the most trade value of any of the Stars’ trade candidates on defense, so if he is dealt, Dallas will want to make sure that his contract is appealing for other teams.

In terms of salary range, it will likely fall near the range of Nemeth’s new deal that he signed on July 1 with the team. Nemeth’s new contract is for one year and is worth ($925,000). Oleksiak may get a little more than that, but will probably fall between the $900K-$1.1 million range.

That’s a decent term and salary for two reasons. On the one hand, if the Stars decide after training camp that Oleksiak is the one they want to keep, it gives them a year to further assess his value to the team and determine if he is worth a longer term. But if he is the odd man out at training camp, his trade value is good and just about any team in need of a defender will be able to take on the contract and have an NHL-ready defender in their back pocket.

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At the end of the day, Oleksiak is a former first-round pick (2011 Draft) that can bring a lot to the table, but still has some steps to take before he is a full-time NHL starter (at least with the Stars). Dallas will more than likely sign him to a new contract, and it’s only a matter of time.

Until then, we just keep counting down. 64 days until puck drop.