John Klingberg was one of NHL's breakout rookies last season, scoring 11 goals and 29 assists in 65 games.
After such an outstanding performance, the Dallas Stars signed the talented rookie to a seven-year contract back in April 2015. The biggest question after last season was: Can Klingberg build off of his spectacular rookie season?
When Dallas traded veteran defenseman Trevor Daley to Chicago, the Stars were left with a huge hole in their defense. They hoped that Klingberg can step up to the plate and take Daley's role. Klingberg did not just take Daley's role of being Dallas' number one defenseman, he also became one of Dallas' top offensive contributors.
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Top of his Class
After three weeks of hockey, Klingberg established himself as one of the best offensive defensemen in the league. He has scored two goals and contributed six assists in nine games so far this year. The Swede is tied for sixth place in the NHL among defensemen, with eight points, and his numbers are only going to increase with the amount of time he spends on the ice.
The 23-year-old sophomore has been given one of the most crucial roles in the Dallas Star roster. He currently plays alongside the first line with Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Patrick Sharp and he also sees ice time with Jason Spezza and the Star's second line. Klingberg is expected to provide the overwhelming offensive talents with goal scoring opportunities and he has done just that.
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Dallas is currently third in the league in goals for and averages around 4.13 goals/game which is first in the league and this is largely due to Klingberg's active role in the Star's offensive.
Another crucial role that Klingberg has been given is his role in Dallas' powerplay. Dallas has one of the league's best power plays. Klingberg plays alongside Jamie Benn, the league's leader in goals and points, Tyler Seguin, who is currently third in the league in points, and veteran superstars Patrick Sharp and Jason Spezza.
With Klingberg anchoring this talented group of superstars, Dallas' power play has been the second most productive power play in the league. He has also contributed three power play points so far this season and has been one of the leading factors to Dallas' success in the offensive category.
Will John Klingberg continue his success in Dallas? With the talent he's around, probably yes. Dallas will have plenty of hockey to look forward to as Klingberg develops into an elite defenseman. Dallas will play the San Jose Sharks on October 31.