When the San Jose Sharks acquired Evander Kane from the Buffalo Sabres on February 26, the Sharks added some much needed speed in their lineup. He’s has consistently been a shot volume forward, and scored nine goals in 17 games. Kane signed a seven-year deal with a $7 million dollar cap hit. His contract showed San Jose general manager Doug Wilson‘s faith in him, and he can be a top-6 forward.
Kane will likely live up to the expectations of the contract since he’s been a shot volume forward throughout his career. What Kane’s acquisition has shown is that Wilson isn’t afraid of making important moves at the right times. Kane was that right move, and he didn’t have to overpay for the 26 year-old at the time.
Even when the Sharks acquired Mike Hoffman from the Ottawa Senators, it looked as though Wilson won the trade in dumping Mikkel Boedker‘s albatross of a contract to the Sens. Hoffman was sent to the Florida Panthers with a 2018 7th round pick for 2018 fourth and a fifth-round picks. Jack Gorniak and Mikael Hakkarainen were the selections. This bolstered San Jose’s prospect pool.
Doug Wilson Makes Timely Deal for Erik Karlsson
Now the Sharks have acquired arguably the best defenseman in the league. ERIK KARLSSON! The fact that the Sens didn’t receive full value for their franchise defenceman is disappointing, but so is the return on Hoffman, and so is the decision to draft Brady Tkachuk before an 18/19 season where they’ll likely finish as the league’s worst and will miss out on Jack Hughes. Karlsson’s addition points to Wilson being patient and smart, and won three trades involving Hoffman and Karlsson.
In acquiring Karlsson, the Sharks now have two elite defensemen. Brent Burns can continue to be sheltered with his offensive zone starts while Karlsson can face opposing teams’ top lines and dominate, as he’s done throughout his career. Karlsson struggled in entry defense in 16/17, but his improvement in 17/18 might have partially been from Johnny Oduya.
After being a positive relative CF% player throughout his career, Karlsson will likely continue to drive play with the Sharks. Ottawa wasn’t a skilled team, and Karlsson will thrive on both parts of special teams.
What It Means For the Future
The video showed how Karlsson is such a great defenceman and how he could fit with any team. San Jose wasn’t a prominent trade candidate for Karlsson, but Wilson found a way to nab him from Ottawa. He’ll likely be a perfect fit with Kane, Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Timo Meier, Logan Couture, and not to mention his likely defense partner in Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
PITTSBURGH, PA – MAY 29: General manager Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks addresses the media during the NHL Stanley Cup Final Media Day at Consol Energy Center on May 29, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)