San Jose Sharks 2017 Season Preview & Expectations
The San Jose Sharks have had a very interesting offseason, to say the least. As rumors swirled about Joe Thornton being near his last days on skates, the Sharks’ leading scorer, Patrick Marleau took the money in Toronto and ran. With that said, many of the usual names are still doing big things for the Sharks.
Logan Couture will look to come back swinging after an injury last year that saw him get hit in the mouth with a puck. Couture had 52 points ( 25 goals, 27 assists), in 73 games before said injury. However, he did come back for the playoffs. In terms of the team’s roster moves, there were a handful of big names returning.
Key Sharks Signings:
Marc-Edouard Vlasic: Signed eight-year contract extension.
Martin Jones: Signed six-year contract extension.
Vlasic’s extension comes as no surprise given that he was part of an impressive top four d-corps with Paul Martin, Brent Burns, and Justin Braun. On top of Vlasic, the Sharks still have Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns. Burns was a valuable cog in the scoring machine. Tying Joe Pavelski with 29 goals, Brent Burns had 47 assists for a total of 76 points.
Beyond the players mentioned above, the Sharks will have to count on a handful of young players to score often. Making up for the loss of Marleau seems a tall task, however, Tomas Hertl, Joonas Donskoi, and Chris Tierny are among those who will be called upon to make up for Marleau’s departure. Furthermore, a 27-year old Melker Karlsson will also be called upon to score early and often.
This team has been doing great things and making some noise in the NHL’s Western Conference. Just a couple of seasons removed from a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals, the Sharks have been building here, re-tooling there, and remaining on the NHL’s radar as a great team to watch. With the departure of Marleau, there is a chance these Sharks may show some offensive weakness. However, there is plenty of talent on this team to go around.