The Dallas Stars have signed unrestricted free agent goaltender Anton Khudobin to a two-year contract worth $5 million, or $2.5 million per season AAV. This contract expires at the end of the 2019-20 season.
2 years and around $2.5 million per. https://t.co/ME7P5USGUz
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2018
Anton Khudobin Heading to the Dallas Stars
Drafted in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL entry draft by the Minnesota Wild, Anton Khudobin wears the label of “reliable back-up” perfectly. He’s suited up for four teams in his nine-year NHL career and just completed his second stint with the Boston Bruins.
Last season, Khudobin appeared in 31 games for Boston, posting a 16-6-7 record with a .913 save percentage, 2.56 goals against average and one shutout. These numbers were his best since 2014-15 with the Carolina Hurricanes, which was also the last time Anton Khudobin completed the full season without any assignments in the AHL. Two years ago, he spent more time with the San Diego Gulls in the AHL than he did with the Anaheim Ducks in the NHL; then in 2016-17, he appeared in 11 games for the Providence Bruins.
Khudobin faced some adversity but obviously has fought his way back into a full-time NHL role. This definitely factored into this new contract offer he signed, where he fits into the back-up role behind Ben Bishop.
Looking Ahead for Anton Khudobin
At 32 years old, Anton Khudobin isn’t getting any younger. He’ll likely be on short contracts for the rest of his career. Since he’s primarily a backup, his expected longevity is much shorter than it is for starting netminders.
Khudobin can match his numbers from last year, which would most definitely keep him playing at the NHL level beyond next season. He performs well in spot-starts and relief efforts in the past, something typically overlooked by the average fan. These are the things he’ll have to keep doing to remain out of the AHL.
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