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Who Should Sharks Target in Free Agency, Trades? My First Thoughts



Credit: AP Photo/Josie Lepe

The Daily Faceoff has kicked off the off-season early with the release of their Top 50 Free Agents and Top 25 Trade Targets lists.

Can the San Jose Sharks improve their team with anybody from these lists? Here are my first impressions – we’ll be diving more into this over the next month.

Let’s begin with the free agents. It’s San Jose Hockey Now’s projection that the Sharks could have about $6 or so million dollars of cap space available to them – after re-signing RFAs Mario Ferraro, Kaapo Kahkonen, Jonathan Dahlen, Noah Gregor, and Nicolas Meloche – and buying out Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Realistically, they could also create more cap space by adding a mid-round draft pick to Radim Simek’s contract and sending him out the door.

The San Jose Sharks have a lot of needs, but forward scoring depth could be the most pressing. The top layer of UFA forwards like Johnny Gaudreau and Filip Forsberg will probably be beyond their grasp, but perhaps on-the-younger-side top-six possibilities like Andre Burakovsky, Andrew Copp, Vincent Trocheck, Mason Marchment, or Valeri Nichushkin would make sense.

Copp and Trocheck are centermen, which is particularly appealing – Tomas Hertl-Copp-Logan Couture down the middle is a very competitive center core, for example – but they’ll also be more expensive because of their two-way versatility.

If not Copp or Trocheck, I would target Nichushkin. The Cup finalist has shown a willingness to use the Russian winger in late-game situations while protecting a lead, a testament to his ability in all three zones.

Trade Targets: Chicago’s Alex DeBrincat is No. 1 player available ahead of wild NHL offseason

Once again, this time because the San Jose Sharks don’t have an excess of tradeable assets, you can probably scratch San Jose out of the competition for the top layer of the Daily Faceoff’s trade targets, stars like Alex DeBrincat and Kevin Fiala.

Where the Sharks should concentrate on here are the younger forwards with some upside like Pavel Zacha and Jesse Puljujarvi. Taking a flyer on a young defenseman like Ethan Bear could also make sense.

I’m not sure how the Sharks match up as trade partners with the New Jersey Devils (Zacha) or Edmonton Oilers (Puljujarvi), but San Jose could use as much NHL-ready upside as possible.

At San Jose Hockey Now…

Season Review: Barabanov Shouldn’t Be Sharks’ 4th-Best Forward

No Surprise Blichfeld Has Fled Sharks

Morreale’s Draft Combine Notes: Who Did Sharks Interview? Who’s His San Jose Top-5? (+)

Byron Bader Talks Eklund’s Development, 2022 Draft

Other Sharks News…

Corey offers his thoughts on the Evander Kane grievance and trading Brent Burns or Erik Karlsson. (The Athletic)

San Jose Barracuda announcer Nick Nollenberger shares some off-season notes. (San Jose Barracuda)

The San Jose Sharks TV broadcast doesn’t rank high in this league-wide fan survey. (The Athletic)

Per the San Jose Sharks, owner Hasso Plattner is footing the bill for these upgrades.

Around the NHL…

P.K. Subban wins the King Clancy Trophy. (NHL)

Blackhawks mainstay Eric Nestorenko – member of the 1961 Stanley Cup champions but was also alleged to have directed the N-word at Willie O’Ree in a game – has passed away. (Chicago Tribune)

Head coach Patrick Roy still “emotional” over Remparts’ ouster, will take time to decide future. (TSN)

Is Peter DeBoer going to be the next head coach of the Dallas Stars?

Could injured Nazem Kadri and Andrew Cogliano return for the Final for the Colorado Avalanche?

NOTEBOOK: More Realistic Chance Nazem Kadri Might Play?

David Pastrnak’s agent denies rift with Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney:

Agent For David Pastrnak Denies Rift With Don Sweeney

Could the Vancouver Canucks pounce on David Pastrnak?

Boston’s Pastrnak on the Trade Block? Vancouver Canucks Opportunity?

When will the Calgary Flames and UFA Johnny Gaudreau agree to a deal?

Gaudreau Deal May Not Come Until 11th Hour

Nolan Patrick, even with the Vegas Golden Knights, can’t escape the injury bug.

Same Sad Story Haunting Nolan Patrick’s Injury-Prone NHL Career

When will the Florida Panthers lock up MacKenzie Weegar?

Florida Roll Call: Future of MacKenzie Weegar with the Panthers

What do the Montreal Canadiens do in goal if Carey Price doesn’t return?

A Potential Solution In Net For Canadiens If Price Doesn’t Return

What kind of prospect can the Pittsburgh Penguins get at with the 21st pick?

What Kind of Prospect Can Penguins Expect to Get at No. 21?

Assistant coaches Jim Hiller and John Gruden have been let go, it looks like new New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert will build his own coaching staff.

Lambert to Build Own Coaching Staff, Hiller & Gruden Fired

Odds say John Tortorella will be the Philadelphia Flyers‘ new head coach.

Sam’s Daily: Odds Say Flyers’ New Coach Will Be John Tortorella; Nolan Patrick’s Sad Story

What’s on the Washington Capitals‘ to-do list this summer?

Sammi’s Daily: Capitals Summer To-Do List, Cassidy Opens Up About B’s Firing

Sergei Fedorov, Detroit Red Wings head coach??

Oddsmakers Favoring Fedorov to be Next Coach of Red Wings

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