According to ESPN's Katie Strang, the Sharks have re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Brenden Dillon to a 5-year contract. Per CSN Bay Area, the deal will pay the 24-year-old blueliner $1.9 million in the 2015-16 season plus a $500k signing bonus, $2.75 million in 2016-17, $3.4 million in 2017-18 and $3.9 million in the contract's final two years for a total value of $16.35 million and an annual cap hit of $3.27 million.
For the prime years of a defenseman who looks like he can be a regular second-pairing option with the ability to play on the penalty kill, this is a steal for the Sharks. Acquired from Dallas in exchange for Jason Demers last November, Dillon was the Sharks' best defenseman last season at suppressing shot attempts as well as their second best possession defenseman overall. He also might have been the best fit alongside Brent Burns of anyone who was regularly paired with the converted forward last year as the Sharks controlled an impressive 54.8% of shot attempts when those two were on the ice together at even-strength.
While Dillon might never be much of an offensive factor, he manages to be a physical presence defensively while not representing a liability with the puck on his stick; he can get play moving in the right direction following defensive stops and help put his teammates in position to generate more offense even if he isn't the one scoring goals himself. $3.27 million against a $71.4 million cap is excellent value for a player who looks to be a significant part of this team going forward.
Along with Melker Karlsson's recent extension, this deal leaves the Sharks with about $12.4 million to add a starting goalie and two to three defensemen.