The San Jose Sharks have started the Trade Deadline with a bang, dealing defenseman Jake Middleton to the Minnesota Wild for goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen and a fifth-round pick.
Middleton has been a popular trade target in recent days, with teams valuing his old-school brand of physicality. Mostly partnered with Erik Karlsson this season, the 26-year-old has been a revelation after spending most of pro career with the San Jose Barracuda. In 45 games this season for the San Jose Sharks, he’s averaged 19:03 TOI. He’s making $725,000 this season and is scheduled to be an RFA after this year.
Kahkonen has been a solid back-up for Cam Talbot in Minnesota, posting a 28-16-3 record with a .906 Save %. Evolving Hockey hasn’t been as enthused with his work, his -17.31 Goals Saved Above Expected 40th of 48 qualified goalies this year. But he’s just 25, making $725,000 this season and will also be an RFA after this season.
The big question right now is what this mean for James Reimer? The Sharks currently have three NHL goalies under their control for next season: Reimer at $2.25 million, the injured Adin Hill at $2.175 million, and the RFA Kahkonen. Reimer would seemingly be the next domino.
The fifth-round pick that the San Jose Sharks have acquired from the Wild is their 2022 fifth-rounder, which they sent to Minnesota for Devan Dubnyk before last season.
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