The San Jose Sharks acquired Brenden Dillon from the Dallas Stars in November, and the 24-year-old defenseman has signed on to stay in the Bay Area for at least five more seasons.
According to reports from CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz and ESPN’s Katie Strang, the Sharks and Dillon have come to terms on a five-year contract extension that will carry an average cap hit of $3.27 million for the next half-decade. The salary for Dillon, reports Kurz, will increase each season beginning at $1.9 million for 2015-16 and culminating with a $3.9 million payday in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Before inking the deal, Dillon was set to become a restricted free agent, but inking a deal that will carry through to when the blueliner turns 29 means the Sharks paid for at least two years of potential unrestricted free agency for Dillon.
“Both sides are extremely happy. Brenden wishes the season started tomorrow,” agent Jarrett Bousquet told Kurz.
The trade that brought Dillon to San Jose sent Jason Demers and a third-round draft pick in 2016 to Dallas, while the Sharks also retained a portion of Demers salary – reportedly $1.9 million. In San Jose this past season, Dillon averaged second- and third-pairing ice time, skating little more than 19 minutes per game. In 60 games with the Sharks, he managed to notch two goals and nine points, including a short-handed marker and one game-winning goal.
Dillon’s career-best marks came in 2013-14 when he suited up for 80 games with the Stars and managed six goals and 17 points while averaging more than 21 minutes per game. If he finds similar success in San Jose during his new deal, the signing will look like a steal for the Sharks.
Even though he’s relatively young, Dillon has already been relied upon to take heavy defensive and neutral zone starts and took the fewest percentage of his shifts starting in the attacking zone. Even still, at 5-on-5, Dillon was able to post a positive shot attempts for percentage and help drive possession.
The Sharks have slowly been building a younger defensive corps and with Dillon, San Jose has only one blueliner outside of their 20s – Brent Burns turned 30 in March – under contract.