NHL Season Recap – San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks

2016-17 season: 46-29-7, 99 points

Lost to Edmonton 4-2 in the

Western Conference Quarterfinals

Head Coach: Peter DeBoer (2015)
3rd Place Pacific Division General Manager: Doug Wilson (2003)
6th Place Western Conference AHL Affiliate: San Jose Barracuda

ECHL Affiliate: Allen Americans

Draft Position: Will have the 19th pick in the draft

Top Forwards

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
C 32 Joe Pavelski 81 68 29 39 11 52.2
C 27 Logan Couture 73 52 25 27 11 49.7
C 37 Joe Thornton 79 50 7 43 7 53.9
LW 37 Patrick Marleau 82 46 27 19 4 51.4
RW 36 Joel Ward 78 29 10 19 -2 50.5
LW 27 Mikkel Boedker 81 26 10 16 0 50.1
C 22 Chris Tierney 80 23 11 12 0 49.4
C 26 Melker Karlsson 67 22 11 11 7 50.3
C 23 Tomas Hertl 49 22 10 12 -8 55.6
RW 21 Kevin Labanc 55 20 8 12 9 49.7

Top Defensemen

POS Age Name GP Points Goals Assists +/- CF%
D 31 Brent Burns 82 76 29 47 19 54.2
D 29 Marc-Edouard Vlasic 75 28 6 22 4 47.8
D 35 Paul Martin 81 26 4 22 10 51.8
D 29 David Schlemko 62 18 2 16 4 53.6
D 29 Justin Braun 81 13 4 9 1 46.5

Top Goaltenders

POS Age Name Games Started W/L Record Shutouts GAA Save %
G 27 Martin Jones 65 35-23-6 2 2.40 .912
G 27 Aaron Dell 17 11-6-1 1 2.00 .931

Trades Made During the Season

What They Acquired Team They Traded With In Exchange For
RW Jannik Hansen Vancouver Canucks F Nikolay Goldobin

Conditional 2017 4th RD Pick

RW Zack Stortini

RW Buddy Robinson

2017 7th RD Pick

Ottawa Senators F Tommy Wingels

Impending Free Agents

POS Age Name 2016-17 Cap Hit
C 37 Joe Thornton $6,750,000
LW 37 Patrick Marleau $6,666,668
D 26 Tim Heed $775,000
RW 25 Buddy Robinson $750,000
LW 31 Michael Haley $625,000
G 27 Troy Grosenick $600,000
RW 31 Zack Stortini $600,000
C 26 Ryan Carpenter $600,000
D 27 Dan Kelly $575,000

Draft Needs

  • The Sharks have six picks in the upcoming draft but just one before the 5th round.  Their NHL roster is now largely an older group, especially at forward.  They have quite a few young talented defense prospects in the minors but need help at forward, especially at center.

What I Said About Them Before the Season

  • I projected for the Sharks to regress this season compared to last, largely because I thought that they overachieved last year.  Not having a truly elite goalscorer and relying on their blueline for a large portion of their offense is risky and I thought that could cause a problem for the Sharks this season.  I wrote that the front office needed to do whatever possible in order to extend Burns during the season and not allow him to get to free agency.  I also thought that the front office needs to work on determining the team’s plan going forward as both Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are free agents this offseason.  I predicted that the Sharks would return to the playoffs this season but that they wouldn’t advance to the later rounds of the playoffs.

Success/Failure

  • Failure – San Jose went from being in game six of the Stanley Cup Finals to losing in the first round to an Edmonton team that hadn’t been in the playoffs in a decade.  The Sharks are now the oldest roster in the league and struggled to keep up with speedy teams such as Edmonton.  They regressed in nearly every category compared to last season with the biggest drop offs taking place in shooting percentage, goals for, and powerplay conversion rate.  They generally became a more defensively-responsible team compared to the teams of the past decade and struggled to score goals as a result.  I can’t tell if this was an intentional plan to work with the future rosters they will have or if it was simply the result of forwards aging.  Either way, they struggled this season in a lot of areas and it ended up costing the team in the playoffs.  Perhaps the biggest failure is that this may have been the last chance for this roster group to win that elusive Stanley Cup.

Offseason Needs

  • Next season’s Sharks team could look a great deal different than this season’s.  Veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau are both free agents this offseason and have been members of the team for the past decade.  Both have lost a step in recent seasons but are still productive and have the skillsets to help any team in the league.  I think that re-signing both of them to short-term and cheaper deals could be good moves for the team and I feel fairly confident that both would take discounts to stay in San Jose.  I actually think that there is some argument for the front office to do a minor tear down of this roster and rebuild with their true core.  Trading away players like Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Joel Ward and recoup some assets to rebuild their farm system could go a long way to help the future of this franchise.  They could build around Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, and Brent Burns, since I doubt any team would take on his new contract.  Although I would consider pursuing this idea, I highly doubt that the Sharks would entertain it considering the resources they have spent on their current roster.  If they want to continue moving forward with their current roster construction, then I think that the Sharks need to find a way to add depth on their defense and if they decide to not re-sign Marleau or Thornton then they’ll need to find a way to replace that offense.

*All stats and information came from hockey-reference.com, rosterresource.com, spotrac.com, NHL.com, hockeydb.com, capfriendly.com, tsn.ca, and eliteprospects.com*

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