5 Sharks Most Likely to be Traded

The San Jose Sharks are currently tied for second place in the Pacific division. That sentence alone would make many think San Jose will be buyers come the trade deadline. However, the Sharks are a mere four points up on fifth place Calgary who they host tonight in San Jose. The Flames also have a game in hand. Given the bizarre offseason in San Jose last summer, the Sharks may in fact forego adding pieces for the stretch run and instead sell off their veteran pieces who may not fit into the long term plans. Without further ado, here are the five Sharks most likely to be traded by the March 2nd deadline.

5. Andrew Desjardins

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Fourth line center Andrew Desjardins could be a nice addition to a contender looking for a reliable depth centerman. Desjardins is a tremendous face-off guy over his career. This season he is actually a fraction of a percent below 50 but is a solid 53.5% for his career. The 28-year-old only has four points on the season but despite never playing with good linemates, the Ontario native has twice posted 17 point seasons in four years in the league. Desjardins would be a cheap option, making just $750K and is set to become an unrestricted free agent. All of a sudden with Tomas Hertl fitting in nicely as the fourth line center for the Sharks, Desjardins now could become expendable. While he is a capable winger, and San Jose may want to keep him around for depth, he could be moved for a third or fourth round pick.

4. Antti Niemi

It is unclear just how hard the Sharks have looked into trading Antti Niemi, but they may have missed their chance. Earlier in the season, the Minnesota Wild looked like a perfect destination for Niemi but the Wild have nearly fallen out of the playoff race completely. There simply aren’t many teams out there looking for a rental goaltender. Niemi would be higher on this list if there were more viable destinations. While he isn’t setting the league on fire, the 31-year-old Niemi is a reliable work horse who teams can rely on game in and game out during the regular season.

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi  (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)
San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (Photo Credit: Andy Martin Jr)

That said, Niemi hasn’t gotten it done in the playoffs for San Jose and one would think the Sharks may move on without him next season. If the Sharks aren’t able to find a trade partner by the deadline, and aren’t able to re-sign him in the offseason, it will certainly have been a missed opportunity to get value in return.

3. Scott Hannan

While veteran defenseman Scott Hannan is at the very tail end of his career, he could still provide a team value as an emergency defenseman in case injuries take a toll. While he is just a fraction of what he used to be, he has for the most part been reliable in his own zone, with a relatively low GA/60 all season. Teams could do a whole lot worse for a depth defenseman that isn’t in the lineup on a regular basis. Perhaps a team would be interested in parting ways with a fifth or sixth round draft pick for that blue-line experience.

2. Tyler Kennedy

(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)
(Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

For some reason, Pittsburgh Penguins playoff hero Tyler Kennedy is disliked by many. However, not only was he a regular contributor over many seasons with the Penguins but after struggling in his first year out west, he is once again looking strong. Despite battling multiple injuries this year, Kennedy has been excellent at driving possession. A terrific neutral zone player (a trait lost on many hockey followers), Kennedy uses his speed and dangling ability to get around defenders. Where he goes wrong is that he is a below average finisher but creating chances and not scoring is far better than giving up chances at the other end. In 15 games this year Kennedy has six points and is a plus-6 with 35 shots on goal while averaging 11:15 per game in ice time. Given his dismal season last year, Kennedy’s stock has probably not recovered to where the Sharks gave up a second round draft pick to acquire him. However, given his strong play this season, it is possibly the Sharks could package him and a third round pick for a second round pick. Kennedy is making $2.35 million but as a rental, that is super cheap for any team looking to add scoring depth for a stretch run.

1. James Sheppard

(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
(Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

After not panning out as a ninth overall selection by the Minnesota Wild in 2006, James Sheppard has since established himself as a solid bottom-six player for the Sharks. Sheppard is only making $1.3 million and like his four teammates above, is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Still only 26-years-old, Sheppard has the versatility to play both the wing and the center position. While he has been far worse in the circle over his career than Desjardins, Sheppard is actually having a better year this season. Sheppard currently comes in at 51.5%, a considerable improvement. If a team is looking for a complementary piece, Sheppard could develop into a consistent 30 point winger. He is only listed at 6’1″ 215, but he plays like he is 6’2″ 220. He is strong along the boards and like Kennedy has good speed and shiftiness through the neutral zone. While not a great finisher, Sheppard be an effective player on multiple lines, kind of like a slightly younger Daniel Winnik. Conversely to Kennedy, Sheppard’s reputation seems to be on the rise and could fetch a second round pick.

Leave a comment below on which of these Sharks players you would most want for your favorite club by the deadline!


26 thoughts on “5 Sharks Most Likely to be Traded”

  1. They should see what they can get for Thornton, and I seriously doubt it’ll be much, given that contract. The Sharks are so very sad 5-on-5 this season, having reverted to their historical mean. Thornton is the poster child for that sadness, and for their playoff failures, where their beloved PP’s are few and far between and good teams know how to kill the penalties that do occur. I’d look to move Burns as well, if possible. His value is likely at its peak, and it’s not much of a peak, at least when it comes to SC winning peaks.

    • They better not trade Burns he is one of the few who plays hard and has heart. I am still ticked off about crappy Wilson trading Ryan Clowe who was a real warrior and played hard every game. Doug Wilson needs to resign and fire McClellan also..he’s too soft.

  2. Tired of people capping on Marleau he has been a great player and is Mr. Shark and is my 2nd fav Shark of all time behind Owen Nolan. He can’t be expected to carry the team in the playoffs and true he has had some bad playoffs but hustles and has the will to win and plays hard so shut up haters!! What i want to know Andrew is when Torres is coming back as he has the skill and intensity to help this team win that is if his knees can hold up!!

  3. Too bad they didn’t trade Marleau when he was worth something. DW’s loyalty to Marleau has cost the organization and is one of the reasons I think DW needs to go. Marleau is a talented individual but has become the poster child for the sharks lack of heart and intensity.

    • Ive never been big fan of marleau’s style, i don’t think he plays to his size enough but I’ve come to the conclusion he’s too good of a player to trade away especially with a nmc and below 7 mill cap hit, there are guys making more who are comparable players. Hard to replace pattys production. This is the first year he has been snake bit for this long, but not ready to write him off after a bad 12-16 games where he easily could have had 3-4 more goals with any puck luck whatsoever.

  4. I try to take your articles seriously. I really do. Still, when I read stuff like, “He is only listed at 6’1″ 215, but he plays like he is 6’2″ 220.” I have to wonder if YOU even take your own pieces seriously.

    • Not sure what you are getting at but DW has built a great core but seriously under performed filling out his roster, how many years does he come up short as a GM before an owner makes a change? I don’t think the SJ fan base as a whole would be very upset if there was a new GM

      thanks for the read and comment!

  5. I think you are writing this team off a bit early. They are probably going to make the playoff tournament as constructed, the difference between first and everyone else in the West is very little. Sharks are actually doing better in the ROW category this year. There has been a nice influx of young players this year which is good. The trades Sharks made 2 years ago at the trade deadline proved to exceptional in terms of a rebuild. Don’t expect anything too earth shattering at the deadline, potentially 1 or 2 minor trades little immediate help coming back.

    The NHL Playoff tournament is a crap shoot at best, this team may yet surprise.

    • I wrote a few weeks ago about targets they could go after as buyers, im not writing them off, but they clearly can be big buyers or sell some of these pieces if they don’t think they are good enough. Thanks for the read and comment!

  6. Mainly because the Sharks youth don’t have much else to offer. Karlsson has been a blessing but who knows if he can continue it over time and into the future. Goodrow, Tierney, Hertl and Nieto are all guessing games for the most part.

    Heck think back to 2014, the ONLY reason Nieto even played was due to injuries to Kennedy, Sheppard, Burns and Torres to start the season. Despite having a good camp he wasn’t given a roster spot. Without the injuries this year Karlsson wouldn’t have been given a chance.

    I guess what I’m saying is, these young guys may not be as good as they seem because they were somewhat rushed or it may take them awhile longer to develop. Right now Nieto is not good offensively Hertl is still finding his place in the lineup and Goodrow is well invisible.

    • For having little to no expectations on goodrow, i think he has been fine for a 4th line winger and pker which is what he is kind of becoming with the tye-hertl-tk line coming on lately. Nieto deserves way more points, he has had terrible luck all year with points. Karlsson has been hot but i see a fall off coming, hes really thin and isnt particularly fast or have a good shot. Great hockey sense though. The 5 guys on this list are ufas that they could get something back for if they don’t think they can resign them. Thanks for the read and comment!

    • Nieto with any luck would have over 20 points, his GF/60 was leading the sharks team among forwards for most of the season

  7. Desjardins is replaceable at this point. Since SJ is in no place to trade Jumbo they are ridiculously deep at center. With Hertl, Sheppard and Tierney all capable down the road Desi just doesn’t fit for future goals. Of course he won’t be worth much on the open market.

    • I like Desjardins but yeah clearly he would fit in better elsewhere at this point. Thanks for the read and comments Kyle!

  8. No argument with your selections. No brainers, really. But Andrew, I’d love to see you take a crack at what the Sharks could get in return for those players on the the open market.

  9. Depending where the Sharks sit as the trade deadline approaches, Thornton could still be a trade candidate. He has to realize by now that his chances of even getting to a Finals with SJ are pretty much non-existent before his current deal ends. If the Sharks are fading or slumping when the deadline comes maybe his brother/agent quietly gives Wilson a short list of Cup contenders to which he would be willing to go.

    fire wilson

    • He said he doesn’t want to leave as long as the fans want him. I dont think Jumbo would go against the fans, he loves SJ

  10. Think he’s got it pretty much right. Sharks haven’t given Stalock enough starts to know if its OK to move Niemi. As average as Niemi’s been, he doesn’t miss games and that’s pretty important. But he’s in the final year of his deal and that is often the determining factor. That said, I’m not sure Sharks trust Grosenick, even as back-up.

    I’d hate to see Desjardins go because he’s been asked to carry a really tough role and he’s done it really well. He’s not a fighter, but he’s been asked to play that role. He’s a center, often with very limited talent players on his line and its a miracle he’s not -15 given what he’s been asked to do. But hey, if you aren’t going to re-up for modest $$, might as well get something for him. Sharks would be wiser to keep him and put him out there with guys like Wingels and Couture.

    Sheppard was really good for the first quarter of the year, playing well and making his linemates better — but has struggled since. Surprised to see his drop-off, but he does need to find his game again for this team to be good. Another ‘last year of his deal’ situation. Sharks might be smart to get him signed now, when he’s been struggling, a bit cheaper than I suspect he’ll get if he turns things around, as he did last year.

    Hard to imagine Hannan, at his low price tag going anywhere, but he’s also on a 1 year deal, making him a candidate to get moved, especially if Mueller shows he can play.

    Kennedy is gone if they can find a home for him. He’s got some game, but he’s also injury prone and tends to disappear all too often. Get him on a roll and maybe you can pull out a good deal for him.

    • yeah Niemi would be No. 1 on this list if there were more po teams in need of a rental and were the sharks giving stalock a good look. Still baffles me why they havent played stalock more considering Niemi might walk after the season.

      I hedge about Irwin on this list instead of Hannan, I just think if either was going to fetch a late round pick, it would be the more reliable veteran.

      Sheppard and Kennedy could each fetch a second rounder if DW plays his cards right.

  11. Matt Nieto is looking more and more expendable as the season wears on. Especially with the emergence of Karlsson and Goodrow.

    • Nieto is just 22, second round pick from 2011, Only his second season, one in which he has been driving possession on every line he has been on despite not getting points. No way the Sharks move him.

      • Nieto reminds me a lot of Torrey Mitchell. A speedy winger who drives possession, but not much else. So far Nieto doesn’t show much in terms of offensive capability nor is he a true shut down forward. He would be the perfect player for the Sharks to pitch and get an even better young guy in return.

        • hes been having an underrated season with lack of points but still been quietly effective, i dont think they are anywhere close to ready to give up on on him just yet

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