The Dallas Stars have come to an agreement with one of their restricted free agents, announcing a one-year $875K contract with forward Jason Dickinson. Dickinson was not eligible for salary arbitration, but didn’t need a very long negotiation anyway to come to some common ground with the Stars.
The 23-year old Dickinson is a tough case for Stars fans to watch. After being selected in the first round five years ago, the big center hasn’t been able to make almost any impact at the NHL level. In 38 career games, 27 of which came this season, he has just five points. Sure, Dickinson has been a good—but not outstanding—scorer at the AHL level, but at some point he’ll be expected to take the next step. That certainly hasn’t happened yet, though there were flashes of brilliance in his play at times last season.
Now coming off his entry-level contract, Dickinson has earned a one-way deal and should get a good shot at locking down a full-time NHL role in training camp. He’s now waiver eligible, meaning the Stars can’t just send him down and hope he keeps developing in Texas. There’s no guarantee someone would pick him up, but he’s exactly the type of low-risk high-reward player a rebuilding club would be targeting near the end of camp. The question will be where he fits into the Dallas lineup, and whether he can produce enough of anything—defense or offense—to stick this time around.
Dickinson will still be a restricted free agent when the deal expires, though his qualifying offer will only increase once again.