2008-09: John Klingberg, brother of Winnipeg Jet’s prospect Carl, began his season with Goteborg of TV-Pucken. He picked up 2 assists in 8 games. He then moved on to Frolunda’s J18 team Elit and Allsvenskan teams. With the Elit club, he scored 3 goals and added 8 assists in 16 games. In the Allsvenskan, Klingberg picked up 4 assists in 14 games.
2009-10: Klingberg played his second year bouncing between levels with Frolunda. Once again, Klingberg played with both the Elit and Allsvenskan J18 clubs. With the Elit club, Klingeberg scored 2 goals and 4 assists in 10 games. In the Allsvenskan, he scored 1 goal and 9 assists in 10 games. Klingberg then advanced to the J20 club in the SuperElit league. In 27 games he scored 5 assists and added 32 PIMs.
2010-11: John Klingberg saw quite a bit of time more than many expected at the Elitserien level with Vastra Frolunda. He also spent some of the season with Frolunda’s J20 team in the SuperElit league. His 17 points were just five off the team lead among blueliners, but that’s with a 28-game handicap. 17 points in 13 season games, plus 11 points in 7 playoff games (clinching playoff MVP honors along the way) suggest that Klingberg has fully graduated to professional status. Klingberg played sparingly at Sweden’s top level (notching five assists and a -3 rating) but has shown a good deal of potential. The Dallas fifth round pick also represented Sweden at the World Junior Championships. He was a relative unknown going into his draft year and now is a fairly major commodity. He has signed with Jokerit (SM-Liiga) to prepare himself for more physical contests ahead.
2011-12: Signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Stars in May 2011, Klingberg was loaned to Jokerit in Finland’s SM-Liiga but saw limited ice time; returning to Sweden to play for Skelleftea following the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Klingberg was plus-one with 1 goal and 2 assists and had 8 penalty minutes in 20 games with Jokerit. He played six games on loan to Mestis (Finnish second league) club Kiekko-Vantaa (1 goal, 4 assists) and one game with the Jokerit U20 team while in Finland. He skated in 16 Elitserien games for Skelleftea after returning to Sweden and was -1 with 1 goal and 3 assists. Skelleftea reached the playoff finals after finishing second in the Elitserien. Averaging almost 16 minutes of ice time per game in the playoffs, Klingberg had 4 assists and was -6 with 14 penalty minutes in 16 games. Playing in the 2012 WJC tournament for gold-medal winning Sweden had 3 assists and was plus-one in 6 games.
2012-13: Klingberg played his first pro game in North America — appearing in an AHL playoff game with Dallas affiliate Texas — after winning an SHL championship with Skelleftea. He had no points nor penalty minutes in his cameo with the Texas Stars. Klingberg did not play in his first game with Skelleftea until December due to injury but saw his ice time steadily increase in 25 regular season games and played all 13 playoff games. Klingberg scored 1 goal with 12 assists and was +10 with 6 penalty minutes; averaging 17:29 minutes of ice time. In the playoffs he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +9 with 8 penalty minutes playing almost 19 minutes per game.
2013-14: Klingberg returned to Sweden — playing a career-high 50 games with Frolunda — and joined Dallas AHL affiliate Texas for three games after the SHL season before undergoing hip surgery. He had 1 assist and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes in three games with the Calder Cup champions but did not play in any playoff games. Klingberg was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for Frolunda — scoring 11 goals with 17 assists — and was +8 with 12 penalty minutes while leading the Indians in ice time; averaging almost 22 minutes per game. Frolunda finished second to SHL champion Skelleftea in the regular season before falling to Linkopings in a seven-game first-round playoff series. Klingberg had 4 assists and 2 penalty minutes with an even plus/minus in the series.
Klingberg is a mobile offensive-minded defenseman that displays good on-ice awareness. He rushes the puck well and makes quality passes. Klingberg has very good vision and hockey sense. and likes to join the offensive rush. He needs to add bulk as he is light on his skates and is easily knocked off the puck. He skates very well with a good stride and plays with determination. Klingberg needs to improve his defensive game and his ability to handle physicality.
Klingberg attended training camp with the Stars and was assigned to AHL affiliate Texas to start the 2014-15 season before being recalled by Dallas in early November; stepping right into the lineup for the Stars. After a big splash to start his NHL career his offensive production has slowed but he was still averaging over 20 minutes of ice time a season in mid-December. Still adapting to the pace and style of the NHL, he should only improve as he adds strength and experience. His skating ability fits in well with the Dallas philosophy and long-term he has the potential to be a quality offensive defenseman.