Fantasy Take: Klingberg Finally Signs, Flies to Anaheim

Ian Gooding

2022-07-29

The Anaheim Ducks have signed John Klingberg to a one-year contract believed to be worth $7 million.

Klingberg has spent his entire eight-year career with the Dallas Stars, topping out at 67 points in 2017-18. More recently, he finished with 47 points in 74 games in 2021-22. Over his past seven seasons, Klingberg has finished with no fewer than 17 power-play points per season, while his power-play point total has been topped by only seven other defensemen over that span. As well, only six other defensemen have scored more even-strength points than Klingberg over the same time period.

Klingberg was obviously swinging for the fences on a long-term deal with a high average annual value, but he has to settle for a one-year "prove it" deal instead. It's worth mentioning that Klingberg recently switched agents in an attempt to expedite a signing somewhere. However, a flat cap likely factored into teams not wanting to commit to what he was asking for.

Turning 30 years of age soon, Klingberg doesn't necessarily fit the type of player that Anaheim is looking for in their rebuild. However, if they are well below the playoff bar during the season, they can easily flip Klingberg for more picks and prospects. In addition, the Ducks also have substantial remaining cap space relative to other teams. Those reasons might answer the question of why the Anaheim Ducks would be the team signing Klingberg.  

In the short term, this seems to hurt the value of Jamie Drysdale somewhat, as Klingberg is the more established power-play option. Both Klingberg and Drysdale are right-shot defensemen, so Klingberg could cut into Drysdale's value both at even strength and the power play. Kevin Shattenkirk, who posted similar power-play point totals and icetime to Drysdale and is also a right-shot defenseman, is in the same boat as Drysdale. The good news for these incumbent Ducks is that Klingberg's time on the Ducks may last only a year, if that. As well, no one on the Ducks was on the ice for more than 59 percent of the team's available power-play minutes, as Dallas Eakins tends to distribute power-play time relatively evenly between his first and second units.

As for Klingberg himself, there were likely more desirable options than Anaheim. Although the Ducks will likely improve over time, their offense ranked in the bottom third of the league. That being said, their power play effectiveness was around the middle of the pack. No Ducks player was able