FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Miro Heiskanen signed a $67.6 million, eight-year contract with the Dallas Stars on Saturday, a monster deal that puts him among the highest-paid defensemen in the NHL.

The Stars also traded forward Jason Dickinson to Vancouver for a 2021 third-round pick before rosters had to be set for the Seattle expansion draft. The move was designed to keep the club from losing the 26-year-old to the Kraken for nothing.

Heiskanen will count $8.45 million against the salary cap through 2028-29. Only five defensemen currently count more against the cap than that next season. The deal came a day before Heiskanen's 22nd birthday.

The native of Finland had 27 points last season and ranked ninth in the league in ice time at just under 25 minutes a game. Heiskanen has 28 goals and 67 assists for 95 points in 205 regular-season games. He also has 30 points in 40 playoff games with Dallas, including a trip to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final in the bubble.

Heiskanen, the third pick in the 2017 draft, was fourth in Calder Trophy voting as rookie of the year his first season and 12th in Norris voting in 2019-20.

General manager Jim Nill said the Stars believe Heiskanen, who became a restricted free agent this summer, will be a Norris contender for years. The club also had to balance uncertainty over the salary cap because of pandemic-reduced revenues.

“Miro made it very clear he wants to be here long-term,” Nill said. “I think it's a fair number for both parties. It protects his upside and it protects us as we move forward with our business.”

Heiskanen's deal could set the bar for other restricted free agent defensemen like Colorado's Cale Makar and Vancouver's Quinn Hughes this year, and Boston's Charlie McAvoy next year.

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