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Behind Zetterlund’s Rise From 4th Line to Top-6 for Sharks (+)

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Fabian Zetterlund is still a work in progress.

In a dismal season like this one for the San Jose Sharks, that’s okay.

An important piece of the Timo Meier trade last January, the ex-New Jersey Devils winger slumped at first in teal, going without a goal in 22 games to end the year.

When reviewing the 24-year-old’s season over the summer, I had to confine myself to just Devils tape to try to find hope for him. Suffice to say, there weren’t a lot of Sharks highlights:

Ex-NHL Head Coach Still Sees Zetterlund’s Upside

Regardless, GM Mike Grier showed faith in Zetterlund during the summer, inking the RFA to a two-year, $2.9 million contract. And the stout 5-foot-11 winger has repaid the Sharks in kind with 11 goals, second on San Jose behind only Tomas Hertl.

Beyond that, Zetterlund has gone from fourth-liner, where he started the season, to San Jose’s fourth most-used forward, behind only Hertl, Mikael Granlund, and William Eklund. He’s also both a power play and penalty kill regular.

So he’s already made plenty of progress.

But there’s still more to go for Zetterlund – it’s a long way to go from key contributor to the worse team in the NHL, to key contributor to a playoff team.

Here’s how Zetterlund will get there.

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