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BREAKING: Sharks Trade Kahkonen for Vanecek



Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

The San Jose Sharks have traded Kaapo Kahkonen to the New Jersey Devils for Vitek Vanecek.

Kahkonen, 27, is a pending UFA. Until the past two weeks, Kahkonen had been having a strong season, considering that he was backstopping a last-place San Jose Sharks squad. But his recent struggles have sent his Goals Saved Above Expected tumbling, from a positive average to 52nd in the NHL, -2.87 (of 67 qualified goalies, per Evolving Hockey).

Vanecek, 28, is signed for next year at $3.4 million AAV. Vanecek is currently on IR and has been one of the worst starting goalies in the NHL this year (-10.42 GSAx in All Situations, second-worst of 67).

Vanecek, however, was very solid from 2020 to 2023, posting a +1.97 GSAx, 20th in the NHL in that period of time (of 43 qualified goalies). Incidentally, Kahkonen was 41st in the league with a -33.82.

The Sharks are also receiving a 2025 seventh-round pick from the Devils.

San Jose Hockey Now sources had pegged his value at about a third-round pick, so this seems low on that estimate, though these values were culled before Kahkonen’s recent nosedive.

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This could be a good buy-low on a historically better goalie who’s cost-controlled next year, even if he doesn’t play again this season.

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