RFA Rudolfs Balcers’s negotiations with the San Jose Sharks appear to be going smoothly.
“Rudolf Balcers’s talks with the San Jose Sharks on a new contract are moving forward at a good pace. The Latvian’s camp is aiming for a two-year contract,” Ulvis Brože of Sportacentrs tweeted this morning. “They hope that everything will be signed by mid-August, so that Balcers can play in Olympic qualification in Riga.”
Brože himself confirmed the translation of the tweet to San Jose Hockey Now. It was also Brože who reported last month, straight from Balcers himself, that the winger and the Sharks had begun contract negotiations.
SJHN predicted a two-year deal for Balcers in April. This would be a bridge contract, an opportunity for the 24-year-old Latvian to prove himself worthy of a long-term commitment and for the organization to minimize their risk.
Regardless of when San Jose signs Balcers, they will need to protect him in the upcoming expansion draft, lest they risk losing him. The Seattle Kraken are allowed to select exposed RFAs to fill out their roster.
Balcers is likely to be protected. Right now, SJHN is predicting that the San Jose Sharks will protect Balcers, Logan Couture, Evander Kane, Timo Meier, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc, and Jonathan Dahlen up front.
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