DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 13: John Klingberg #3 of the Dallas Stars celebrates his goal in the second period against the Anaheim Ducks at American Airlines Center on October 13, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is expected to be out at least three weeks after sustaining an upper-body injury. The injury occurred Thursday when the Stars faced the San Jose Sharks. Klingberg exited the game during the third period and did not return.

Despite the victory over the Sharks, Dallas was still met with bad news. Klingberg is now the fourth defenseman to be injured on the team. He left the game Thursday after blocking a shot from Evander Kane with the left side of his body. The injury came during the beginning of the third period. Head coach Jim Montgomery hasn’t announced whether or not Klingberg broke any bones.

What this means for the future

With Klingberg set to miss a significant amount of time, the door is open for a range of players to step up. The defensive depth in Dallas is being tested while their roster is littered with injuries. Marc Methot has been absent for four games now with an aggravated lower-body injury. Connor Carrick, who was brought over from the Toronto Maple Leafs, is currently on injured reserve with a foot injury. Defenseman Stephen Johns has an indefinite return date due to post-traumatic headaches. There’s a large void in Dallas right now, and they’ll be looking for some fresh faces to fill it.

Rookie Miro Heiskanen has been relieving some of the pressure already. Heiskanen is thriving in Dallas since the team claimed him as a first round, third overall pick in the 2017 draft. He owns two goals and five assists in 16 games. Dillion Heatherington was recalled from the AHL after the team moved Carrick to the IR. Joel Hanley is expected to follow. Hanley hasn’t suited up for any games with Dallas yet. He has logged games with both the Montreal Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes, giving him some NHL experience. Hanley owns six assists in 22 games total between the two teams. With such a big blow to their defense this early, The Stars are leaning on some young talent to make it through.

 
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