Nico Sturm and Kaapo Kahkonen were perhaps the happiest they have been all season after the San Jose Sharks took the ice for practice on Wednesday.
Not only was it the first practice after a victory for the 1-10-1 Sharks, but the team also traded for a friend of theirs from their days with the Minnesota Wild, Calen Addison.
The Sharks acquired the puck-moving 23-year-old defenseman from the Wild for 2026 fifth-round pick and Adam Raska.
“He’s a good guy to have around,” Kahkonen said. “He’s a funny, goofy guy. He’s not the loudest guy in the room, but he’s funny in his own way.”
“He’s a very quiet guy,” added Sturm. “But he has these subtle jabs, subtle funniness to him. I’m excited to have him.”
The trio played for the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa in 2020-21 before each earned their respective call-ups to the NHL roster.
Sturm and Kahkonen both were traded at the 2021-22 Trade Deadline to the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks, respectively. Sturm was signed by the Sharks the following off-season.
”We are going to assemble some kind of Iowa Wild reunion,” Sturm joked.
Sturm will also take on the role as Addison’s chauffeur, ferrying him to and fro from practice and the game, once he arrives in San Jose.
”I’m going to set him up with a ride and then I’ll be his driver for the next two days,” he said.
San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn says Addison is scheduled to arrive today and will be a line-up option tomorrow against the Edmonton Oilers.
Quinn says Addison will be an option tomorrow: "A guy that's got a lot of offensive ability, moves pucks. He's a power play guy. He's been on good teams in Minnesota…Maybe he got caught up in a little bit of a numbers game, but he's certainly going to help us."
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) November 8, 2023
Addison brings something the Sharks have been desperately needing since Erik Karlsson’s departure over the summer: A puck-mover in the back end. He’s scored 38 points in 92 NHL games, and 58 points in 77 AHL appearances.
”He’s very skilled, he sees the ice well, he can break the puck out and pass the puck,” Kahkonen said.
“Obviously, I’m no coach and I don’t know which pairing or power play unit he’s gonna fit on, but I’m assuming he’s coming here to help us move the puck because that’s what his strengths are.”
He could provide a big jolt to a San Jose power play which sits in the middle of the pack at 18.4 percent and a 5-on-5 group that has struggled to move the puck out of their zone.
“He is a puck-moving defenseman, he’s got some skill and he is going to be able to quarterback a power play for us,” Sturm said.
“That’s probably the one thing we’ve been lacking since Karlsson is gone. A right-shot defenseman, a guy that can be a go-to guy on the blueline and on the power play, so I think he will fill in nicely.”
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