One of the top undrafted college free agents has found a home, as the Dallas Stars have signed Jordan Kawaguchi to a one-year entry-level contract. The 23-year-old forward recently finished his senior season at the University of North Dakota where he served as captain. He’ll report first to the Texas Stars of the AHL for the rest of this season on an amateur tryout before his entry-level deal kicks in for the 2021-22 season. CapFriendly reports that the deal will pay him a pro-rated $750K salary, a $92.5K signing bonus, and contains $82.5K in performance bonuses.
Kawaguchi, who is actually a cousin of former NHL forward Devin Setoguchi, has done nothing but score since he arrived at UND in 2017. Through his 136 college games, he recorded 126 points including 36 this season in just 28 appearances. The 5’9″ center was an offensive weapon for the Chilliwack Chiefs of the BCHL too before going to the NCAA, but went undrafted multiple times.
Now, after impressing for so long, Kawaguchi will get a chance to show what he can do at the professional level. The run of AHL games down the stretch is a great chance for him to show he is not just another undersized college scorer and could be a valuable asset to the organization. At the end of his one-year deal in 2022, he’ll be a restricted free agent.