Dallas Stars Sign Michael Raffl, Jani Hakanpaa

Tampa Bay Lightning vs Carolina Hurricanes

The Dallas Stars have signed two physical presences for the 2021-22 roster in the forms of Michael Raffl and Jani Hakanpaa. The team was relatively active on the first day of free agency, but they are clearly not done making moves yet. Raffl will be with the team for only one season and worth $1.1 million while Hakanpaa’s deal is for three years and $4.5. Matthew DeFranks broke one of the moves Thursday morning.

Stars Sign Michael Raffl and Jani Hakanpaa

Neither of these players did much in terms of raw production last year. Raffl appeared in 44 games split between the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals. He posted just four goals, 11 points, and 71 hits in an average of 13:15 of ice time. He scored more points as a Flyer, but his possession stats were significantly better when he moved to Washington. Overall, the Austrian skater has collected 82 goals and 163 points in 514 games.

Hakanpaa had a very similar season. He collected two goals and four points in 57 games split between the Anaheim Ducks and Carolina Hurricanes. However, he played far more often in each game as a defenceman and also received credit for 215 hits and 83 blocks. The native of Finland was a fourth-round pick for the St. Louis Blues in 2010 and has three goals and five points in 62 games.

What This Means

Both players should take over regular roles on Dallas’ roster, but neither will be critical players in the coming year. Don’t expect either to play much in the offensive zone and both should feature heavily, given their skills, as penalty-killing specialists. The good thing is that neither is enough of an investment to prevent the team from grooming prospects throughout the year.

The Stars are now over the salary cap ceiling, but there is still time to make space. The team also has several players still injured who could end up on their reserve list when 2021-22 begins.

 

Main Photo: TAMPA, FL – JUNE 03: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) is defended by Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Jani Hakanpaa (58) during Game 3 of the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Carolina Hurricanes and Tampa Bay Lightning on June 03, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)