The Dallas Stars have inked an international free agent, signing Swedish defenseman Emil Djuse to a one-year entry-level contract. The 25-year old will still be a restricted free agent when the deal ends next summer.
Undrafted, Djuse has spent the last five seasons in the SHL playing for various clubs. The mobile defenseman had 22 points in 49 games this season for AIK, but will now compete for a spot on what has become a relatively crowded blue line in Dallas. Even if the team watches Ben Lovejoy and Roman Polak leave in unrestricted free agency this summer, there will be plenty of competition between players like Gavin Bayreuther, Dillon Heatherington, Ben Gleason and Julius Honka for the last few spots. Djuse will have to work his way into that group and show off the experience he’s gained playing overseas.
Dallas reshaped their team into a stingy defensive club this year, allowing the second fewest goals in the entire league and riding that tight system all the way to a second-round playoff berth. It will be interesting to see if Djuse has a European Assignment Clause built into his contract that would allow him to return to the SHL if he can’t crack the roster out of camp, or if he is willing to join the organization in whatever role they choose for him.