Fabian Brunnstrom will make his NHL debut next season with the Dallas Stars.
The 23-year-old Swedish forward signed a two-year entry-level contract on Friday and will be paid in a similar fashion to a top 5 draft pick, which could translate into a cap hit of over $2 million per season.
Part of the impetus for the deal is that Dallas does not have a first round pick this year, it was traded to the Los Angeles Kings last year as part of the Mattias Norstrom deal.
"We are very excited to get the caliber of player that Fabian is under contract for the next two seasons," said Stars co-general manager Les Jackson. "He is a very good prospect and will definitely be a nice addition to our group of younger players."
Brunnstrom officially made his decision on Thursday with Dallas edging out Montreal, Detroit and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"In the end there was no wrong decision. All of the organizations involved were extremely professional and respectful in their approach and the opportunity was carefully explained. The Dallas option was simply the best one overall for Fabian and he is very comfortable with his decision," said Brunnstrom's agent J.P. Barry.
Last week Brunnstrom toured Dallas and spent time with Ken Holland and the Detroit Red Wings before making his way to Montreal where Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey courted the highly sought after free agent.
''All of the other teams and clubs, like Montreal and Detroit, were good but I just felt that Dallas was a little bit better for me,'' said Brunnstrom. ''I really enjoyed the town and the people around the Dallas organization. I got a chance to visit the practice facility and the American Airlines Center and I thought everything was great.''
Sources say the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks also pitched hard in the last 10 days.
The Toronto Maple Leafs campaign for Brunnstrom was based on opportunity and the expectation he would be given a chance to be an impact player in Toronto next season.
Brunnstrom chose Dallas based on his belief there a combination of both roster depth and opportunity will exist when he arrives on the scene for training camp.
The highly-touted young star spent the previous season with Farjestads BK Karlstad in the Swedish Elite League, compiling nine goals and 37 points in 54 games. Brunnstrom led his club in assists and was fifth in scoring.