The Dallas Stars have inked Ryan Shea to a one-year, two-way contract extension for next season, avoiding arbitration. The young defenseman has yet to play in the NHL but does not qualify for Group VI unrestricted free agency because he has just two pro seasons under his belt.
Shea, 25, was originally a fourth-round pick of to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 but after failing to sign with them, hit the open market in 2020 following his college career. He played four years at Northeastern, eventually being named captain of the club in 2019 as a senior. After waiting until August, he signed an entry-level deal with Dallas, and quickly entered their AHL program with the Texas Stars.
After participating at the World Championship last summer, Shea showed a stark improvement this season, scoring 32 points in 66 games for Texas, helping the club reach the playoffs (but not advance). This deal will give the 6’2″ defenseman another opportunity with the minor league club, though it seems unlikely he will challenge for an NHL roster spot.
Just yesterday, the team signed pending UFA Joseph Cecconi, who like Shea could see the odd injury call-up this season. The difference of course is that because of his relatively late start as a pro, Shea is still waiver-exempt for 2022-23 and can be sent to the minor leagues without issue.
The Stars have now locked up a good amount of depth at the position, as Alexander Petrovic was also signed earlier this month.