The San Jose Sharks have signed free agent forward Mikkel Boedker to a four-year deal that is reported to carry a $4 million AAV.
It was speculated that Boedker, particularly in a thin free agent class, could find himself drawing a much higher AAV than he lands at with the Sharks. The contract appears to indicate that Boedker was looking for a team where he had a role, his skills were a solid compliment to the pieces in place and he’d have a chance to win. He gets all that in San Jose. Part of the appeal may also be that Boedker played under head coach Peter DeBoer previously with the Kitchener Rangers.
“I’m very familiar with Mikkel having coached him in juniors with Kitchener,” DeBoer said. “He has world class speed but is also a world class person and teammate.”
In the Stanley Cup Final, the Pittsburgh Penguins gave the Sharks fits with their speed. In acquiring Boedker, general manager Doug Wilson makes the team a little faster, even if he does create something of a log jam on the wings that may need to be addressed by doing something like, say, trading Patrick Marleau (that’s pure speculation).
“Mikkel’s tremendous speed is his best attribute and he has the ability to back off defenders with his combination of quickness and soft hands,” said Wilson. “His creativity and puck-handling abilities make him a threat in the transition game and he is a positive contributor in all three zones. We think he will thrive with our group and look forward to him joining our team.”
Splitting time between the Arizona Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche last season, Boedker put up 17 goals and 51 points in 80 games, tying a career-high point total. He’s a big asset on the power play, but the concern is that he has been given so much power play time on a thin Coyotes team that it may be weighting his production to a higher value than he can achieve on a team as deep as San Jose.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.