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Sharks’ 5 Biggest Off-Season Questions



Credit: Keith Hershmiller Photography

Check out my “Sharks Pregame Live” hit from Monday!

Sheng Peng: The Sharks’ season is coming to a close, and it’s also my last TV appearance of the year, so let’s look ahead to the off-season and 5 big storylines to watch.

Thank you for watching this season!

No. 1, do the San Jose Sharks trade Erik Karlsson?

Karlsson has four more years left on a massive contract, but he reminded everybody how good he can be with a probable Norris Trophy-winning campaign.

No. 2, speaking of big contracts, what to do about Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s contracts?

All three have No Movement or very limited Trade clauses, so they only go if they want.

I believe both Couture and Hertl want to stay, both are still 20-30 goalscorers and good all-around players, and you need someone to play your younger players with.

Vlasic isn’t what he used to be, but he gave good minutes this season and was a true veteran leader in this D corps. Last off-season, I advocated buying him out because I thought the San Jose Sharks would need the cap space to try to build a contending team on the fly, but this off-season, the rebuild mandate is clear, so I say keep him.

No. 3, what’s the goaltending situation next year?

James Reimer is a UFA and Kaapo Kahkonen and prospect Magnus Chrona are the only goalies that the San Jose Sharks have signed for next season at the moment.

No. 4, which prospect is going to take a leap?

William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, Danil Gushchin, Henry Thrun, Shakir Mukhamadullin, you name it, all gave us reasons to be excited about their talent, but is anybody going to establish themselves as a bona fide NHL’er next year?

Finally, No. 5, and the biggest question this summer, the most important Draft lottery in Sharks history is on May 8th. Will the Sharks win the lottery and get a chance to draft Connor Bedard? Or at the very least, stay in the top-four of the Draft to get other cream of the crop prospects like Adam Fantilli, Matvei Michkov, or Leo Carlsson? Or will they lose the lottery and miss out on drafting one of the four consensus elite prospects of the 2023 Draft?

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