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SOURCES: What Do Other Teams Think Middleton Is Worth? (+)

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For good reason, most of the Trade Deadline chatter surrounding the San Jose Sharks has been about star centerman Tomas Hertl. There’s also been some ink splashed about other pending UFAs Alexander Barabanov and Andrew Cogliano.

But here’s an interesting one, courtesy of Pierre LeBrun.

“An under-the-radar name for the Sharks that’s garnering some interest? Defenseman Jake Middleton, who has partnered with both Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns at times this year. He’s part of that penalty killing crew that’s ranked second in the NHL,” LeBrun said on TSN’s Insider Trading. “He’s a restricted free agent at the end of the year, he’s making only $725,000, he’s a bit of an old-school physical brand that teams headed to the playoffs like to stash on their roster. Among the teams that have kicked tires I’m told [are] Tampa Bay, Boston, and St. Louis.”

Middleton has three goals, five assists, and 62 penalty minutes in 39 games this season.

Corey Masisak of The Athletic added this, about Middleton’s impending free agency:

So what’s likely RFA but possible UFA Middleton worth on the open market?

“He’s in demand, all right,” Source #1 told San Jose Hockey Now. “I have mentioned him to our group.”

Another source suggested, “Maybe a third?”

“I would say a fourth,” Source #1 offered. “But he might get higher than that because he has the element of size and toughness that’s needed in the playoffs. I’d be surprised if you got a second.”

Is a third or a fourth-round pick worth it for the San Jose Sharks?

On one hand, considering where Jake Middleton has risen from – the San Jose Barracuda signed the 2014 seventh-round pick in Oct. 2016 after the Kings relinquished his rights, and as recently as this past summer, he might’ve been the No. 9 defenseman on the Sharks’ depth chart – a middle-round pick would be manna from heaven.

On the other hand, if the San Jose Sharks are serious about making it back in the playoffs next year, should they be so quick to pawn off a likely cost-controlled defender that has shown the ability to play up, especially with Karlsson?

It’s an intriguing question for Doug Wilson, Joe Will, and company as they head toward the Mar. 21 Trade Deadline. But what’s for certain: This is a spotlight that’s well deserved for the persistent Jake Middleton, who’s spent most of five previous seasons with the Barracuda.

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genadinik

I thought because he has another cheap year after this one, he would be a first round pick or two mid round picks.

genadinik

Maybe I mis-read and thought he was RFA – so they can sign him again. Sorry if I mis-understood.

Zeke

It’d be selling high, but this isn’t the guy they need to trade. Or guys they need to trade.

For a 2nd, I think he gets moved. For a middle to late 3rd rounder, less compelling. Fourth rounder, not sure why. After all, he the sort of player the team needs over the next few seasons. If the Sharks retain him, he’ll be tradable next year, too.

Alaskan_ice

If the Sharks wait until after Chiarot goes, they can get the remaining teams to pony up. I’m thinking (really hoping) a second.

Jaggs

This is a tough one. If someone offers say, 2nd and a 4th and you keep him, you better pray he plays 20 out of the 26 remaining games. As a UFA, I’d think he gets $2M-$2.5M a year with a couple years term.

Gary To

Better to sell high on him since , when healthy, sharks seems to have a lot of left Ds

Whiskerz

If the return is at most a 3rd I don’t see the point in moving him, he has been solid, if unremarkable, as a 2nd pair guy and if we can get him signed for a couple years around that 1M mark we should do it

david barnard

Sharks goal share with him on the ice goes up 5.5%.

Scott

Absolutely take a 3rd if it’s offered. Do you think if you pair that 3rd with Barabanov you might be able to jump into a late 1st round pick a la Barclay Goodrow?

Last edited 3 months ago by Scott
david barnard

trade him. he’s 26 and is what he is. gotta make room for Kniazev and Hatakka at LHD. he himself was ranked late 3rd round but fell to the 7th round in the 2014 entry draft. the Sharks need more stabs at mining gold. a lot of good players are going to be available simply because of their similarity and the uncertainty (defined tiers of talent) from this class.

The Masala Slapper

I can’t believe anyone is entertaining trading this guy. The guy has stabilized every pairing he’s been on, and god knows this team needs some stability back there. He brings a bit of grit every team needs. He’s cheap on a team that needs to save money. He’s NHL quality on a team that’s rebuilding. If you’re talking a 1st or 2nd, let’s talk, but anything short of that? Are you kidding? What does the team need more? The only remotely compelling argument, to me, is from David Barnard here, that Middleton is crowding space for LD prospects. They too… Read more »

david barnard

yup. he’s “found money”. wasn’t in the Sharks long term plans AND the Sharks are stuck with 2 expensive bottom pair LHD in Vlasic and Simek. gotta trade him. even IF DW has to attach a lesser pick with him to get that 2nd (or better) out of a contender he should do it.

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