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Who Are Sharks Going To Use on 2023-24 Penalty Kill?



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

It’s about the only significant thing on the ice that the San Jose Sharks do better now than in their heyday.

From 2003 to 2019, the Sharks made the playoffs in 14 of 15 years. Along with that, their penalty kill was pretty good, 10th in the NHL in that span of time with an 82.4 percent success rate.

Over the last four years, San Jose has missed the post-season in every season, but their PK has actually improved, to third in the league with an 83.5 kill rate.

With that in mind, the Sharks should once again have another strong PK.

Last week, I projected San Jose’s opening night roster, along with lines:

What Will Opening Night Roster Look Like? Grier Talks New Sharks

Tomorrow, we’re going to project the San Jose Sharks power play, sans Erik Karlsson, with hockey tactics guru Jack Han.

But let’s project the Sharks’ 2023-24 penalty kill first.


Up front, San Jose is returning three regular PK’ers from last year, Logan Couture, Nico Sturm, and Luke Kunin.

All three figure to have major short-handed roles next year, headlined by Sturm, the only Shark to be better than 50 percent on PK draws. Just 16 of 60 qualified centers were able to achieve that mark short-handed – in comparison, Couture won just 35.8 of such faceoffs, and Nick Bonino had a 45.2 before he got dealt.

New Shark Mikael Granlund should round out this group to form the first two waves of PK’ers. Of San Jose’s many acquisitions up front this off-season, the center-winger is the only one with a wealth of short-handed experience.

After Sturm, Couture, Kunin, and Granlund, Tomas Hertl and Oskar Lindblom are solid candidates to round out the PK, and both have a lot of experience there too. Ryan Carpenter, if he makes the NHL team, is a shoo-in for a role.

Anthony Duclair and William Eklund are sleepers. Duclair was a penalty-killing regular once in his career, 2019-20 with the Ottawa Senators, while Eklund killed penalties with the San Jose Barracuda last year.


The San Jose Sharks have nobody obvious on the blueline for the power play, but they’re stuffed to the gills with penalty-killing candidates.

San Jose returns their three most-used defensive PK’ers from last season, Mario Ferraro, Matt Benning, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

Jan Rutta and Kyle Burroughs are the obvious names to fill out this group. Both were leaned on heavily short-handed by their respective teams last season.

So likely, one of these go-to PK’ers will get a little less playing time than usual.

“Sounds like one of them good problems,” in the words of Marlo Stanfield.

Radim Simek and Nikolai Knyzhov could be candidates for a role too, in case of injury. Both saw a regular PK shift when they dressed.

Let’s talk power play tomorrow!

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