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Dallas Stars sign D Esa Lindell to two-year, $4.4 million contract extension; sign C Mark McNeill to one-year, two-way deal

The Dallas Stars got one of their key restricted free agents under contract Monday, signing defenseman Esa Lindell to a two-year, $4.4 million contract extension. The Stars also signed restricted free agent center Mark McNeill to a one-year, two-way deal.

Here’s the release on Lindell:

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a two-year, $4.4-million contract extension.

Lindell, 23, posted 18 points (6-12=18) in 73 games played for Dallas during the 2016-17 regular season, his first full season in the NHL. He finished second on the team by averaging 21:52 of time on ice per game and his +8 plus/minus rating finished third. Additionally, he finished second on the team with 119 blocked shots and tied for fifth with 93 hits.

In his career, Lindell has played 77 regular-season games over the span of two seasons with Dallas and has posted 18 points (6-12=18). The blueliner has spent parts of each of his past three seasons playing for Dallas’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Texas Stars. In 80 games played with Texas, he has tallied 44 points (14-30=44).

“Esa displayed great composure during his first season in the NHL and we look forward to his continued development as a top player on our defense,” said Nill.

Lindell has represented Finland on a number of occasions, including the 2014 World Junior Championship, where he helped Finland win gold, the 2015 World Championship, where he was named one of Finland’s top three players, and the 2016 World Championship, where Finland won silver.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Vantaa, Finland was originally selected by Dallas in the third round (74th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Here’s the release on McNeill:

Dallas Stars General Manager Jim Nill announced today that the club has signed forward Mark McNeill to a one-year, two-way contract extension.

McNeill, 24, appeared in one game for Dallas and recorded one shot and one blocked shot. He split the majority of the season between Rockford and Texas of the American Hockey League (AHL). In total, he appeared in 79 AHL regular-season contests and posted 39 points (9-30=39).

In his career, McNeill has played 294 regular-season AHL games over the span of six seasons with Rockford and Texas. In total, he has posted 168 points (75-93=168). He has also competed in 11 Calder Cup Playoff games, all for Rockford, tallying six points (3-3=6), and he was named an AHL All-Star in 2015. He has played in two NHL games for Chicago and Dallas.

McNeill competed for Canada at the 2011 U-18 World Junior Championship, contributing six points (0-6=6) in seven games, and the 2013 World Junior Championship, appearing in six contests.