Josef Korenar was not expecting this call.
Korenar, back home in the Czech Republic, was riding high after re-signing with the San Jose Sharks for one year and $750,000 on Tuesday. The 23-year-old goaltender was also expecting to be protected by San Jose on the eve of next week’s expansion draft.
Another year as a 🦈 pic.twitter.com/Y6hxNYXaxP
— Josef Kořenář (@pepakoren) July 13, 2021
It looked like Korenar, who went 3-5-0 in his rookie season for the San Jose Sharks, was going to get a chance to firmly establish himself as a Shark next year.
That is until yesterday, when San Jose traded him and a 2022 second-round draft pick to Arizona for fellow netminder Adin Hill and a 2022 seventh-round draft pick.
“I’m kind of surprised,” Korenar acknowledged to San Jose Hockey Now. “When you sign two days ago, all the talk with them was how pleased they were with you. Then after two days, they call you and tell you that you’re going somewhere else.”
Korenar says he had no inkling that he could be part of league-wide expansion draft machinations. He will be exposed by the Coyotes, who wanted to keep one of incumbent starter Darcy Kuemper or Hill, and didn’t want to lose either in the expansion draft for nothing. Every NHL team, save for the Vegas Golden Knights, must expose one eligible goalie to Seattle.
It’s a hard lesson learned for the 23-year-old.
“It’s a new experience and it really feels weird,” he admitted, of his first NHL trade. “It’s business. I can’t do anything about that.”
What he can do? Focus on his next chance with the Coyotes or the Kraken or somewhere else. Hopefully, it’s a greater opportunity than the San Jose Sharks could offer.
“I hope as well,” Korenar said.
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