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Stars sign Johns to two-year contract

Rookie defenseman scored first NHL goal Thursday vs. Lightning

by Steve Hunt / Correspondent

FRISCO, Texas -- The Dallas Stars signed defenseman Stephen Johns to a two-year contract Friday, less than 24 hours after the rookie scored his first NHL goal.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Johns could have become a restricted free agent on July 1.

Video: TBL@DAL: Johns nets his first career goal

Johns, 23, a second-round pick (No. 60) of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2010 NHL Draft, was traded to Dallas last July with forward Patrick Sharp for defenseman Trevor Daley and forward Ryan Garbutt.

"He was a big part of that trade," Stars general manager Jim Nill said Friday. "He came on board and he went down to Cedar Park [Texas of the American Hockey League]. He was one of our better defensemen down there, has been a big leader for us, played very well. Now he's come up here and I think we're excited about how he's played up here. He's come up here and played the way we thought he would."

Johns, who was recalled from Texas on March 9, debuted two nights later against Chicago and scored his first goal in his fourth NHL game, a 4-3 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday at American Airlines Center.

"Yeah, it's a huge step," Johns, who had four goals and 24 points in 55 AHL games prior to being promoted, said Friday after practice. "Obviously, they think I'm a big part of the future. I'm humbled by the opportunity to be here for two more years for sure. I'm just excited about the opportunity I have."

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