The San Jose Sharks are a very interesting win now team.
The San Jose Sharks window to do so has been open for a decade now, yet they have had no success in their journey to win the Stanley Cup.
Their best season was in 2016 when they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, only to be beaten by the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Sharks have been steps away almost every season from being able to piece together a winning team, and always find a way to fall short. This may be their last season to go all in to make a Stanley Cup run, and San Jose needs a few key pieces to do so.
The Assets They Have To Move
The Sharks have given away a lot of assets in recent years in order to make a playoff run. They don’t have a first round pick to trade away till 2022 (2021 is on conditional status for now), but they still have pieces to move which might be valuable to rebuilding teams.
Justin Braun is the first piece they can offer a team in order to get stronger. Braun has one more season on his contract at a $3.8 Million cap hit, which would clear up some cap space for the Sharks to add more depth. The Sharks have a great defensive prospect in line to join the team next season in Ryan Merkley. So, Sharks fans wouldn’t have to worry about filling the void that Braun would be leaving.
Another asset that the Sharks can move before the deadline is Dylan Gambrell. A valuable 2nd round pick in 2016, the Washington state native can’t seem to find a regular place in the NHL, but could be of value to any team which needs center depth for years. The 20 year old center can be moved with confidence, as the Sharks have center Antti Suomela in their AHL affiliate at the moment, who has seemed to have success on their first line at times this season. That being said, the Sharks should feel comfortable moving Gambrell in order to win now.
With their best assets being 2nd and 3rd round picks in the draft for the next two years, it will be hard to add a piece for this years playoffs without having to give up a roster player or some of their top prospects.
Their Biggest Needs Down The Stretch
San Jose has so much center depth with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl all able to slot in the top 9 center spots. But, they have some holes on the wing. Specifically, at Left Wing.
Andre Burakovsky is the first name that comes to mind. Burakovsky has jut 6 goals and 12 points in 47 games this season, but has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, and has proven to provide timely goals in the playoffs. Unfortunately, the left winger has been buried in the lineup this year while playing for the Washington Capitals. So, Burakovsky may just need a change of scenery in order to be the player the Capitals thought they were drafting. He also shoots left and seems like the type of finesse player who can play with Couture and Hertl, or with a prolific passer like Thornton.
Talking To The Hurricanes
Another piece the Sharks could use is Micheal Ferland. The Carolina Hurricanes have already mentioned that they want to shop Ferland, who has 14 goals and 28 points in 44 games this season, and he seems to be a great fit for the Sharks short term. Being able to play with a top line assignment, or down the depth chart, Ferland brings an extra level of grit that the sharks are lacking. Ferland has a lot of the same traits that Tom Wilson has, who was instrumental in the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup victory last season. Ferland will be a big part in any teams playoff success, and the Sharks should jump on him before he gets snatched up by a competing team.
Getting Back To The Stanley Cup Finals
If the San Jose Sharks can make a splash at the trade deadline, they may be able to get back to the Stanley Cup finals again this year. With this being the possible last year in their window to win with their aging core group of players, they need to be all in now.
stats from theahl.com, nhl.com, hockey-reference.com
featured image photo credit – Nikos Michals