The San Jose Sharks are having a confusing season. Despite several games where they have played above expectations, they have consistently fallen flat in the late periods. This has led to several games ending in overtime – often in the opposition’s favor – when they should have gone the Sharks’ way. With the future of their season now in question, it might be time to shake up the roster.
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Head coach David Quinn might be pulling more from his roster than expected, but there is still something missing. Erik Karlsson has completely returned to form, and James Reimer is still playing as well as ever. However, everyone else has struggled here and there or has yet to contribute full-time. With that in mind, these are a few trade targets the Sharks could look at to help move them in the right direction.
The Chicago Blackhawks have done very well compared to early expectations. According to some fans, the team has been doing a little too well. Sam Lafferty is no doubt a significant reason for their success. Outside of your usual Blackhawks scorers (Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews), Lafferty has been one of the top point producers for them. On the Sharks, he could be a massive piece to rejuvenate the depth.
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What could be appealing to the Sharks is Lafferty’s contract situation; he has only one year remaining on his contract after this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent. For the Sharks, this means that they could acquire him to help spark the depth scoring and then flip him if things go south. Sure, they would have to give up assets to get him, but every asset lost could be regained at the trade deadline either this season or next.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a rough start to the season. They have often fallen apart against teams they should have beaten. This has prompted a state of panic in Leafs Nation, and the consensus seems to be the same: they need to make a move. One name that has popped up quite a bit in those rumors is Alexander Kerfoot.
Kerfoot has one of the team’s larger salary cap hits outside of their central core. However, he is well worth the money. He has struggled so far this season, but he put up 51 points in 82 games in 2021-22. If he can do that again, the Sharks would be fools not to at least inquire about his availability.
Kerfoot could be what the Sharks need to keep players like Timo Meier and Tomas Hertl on the right track. They’ve had periods where they have struggled to find the back of the net, and some extra support would go a long way to helping them out. It would probably be in San Jose’s best interest to tank this year, but if they decide they want to compete, Kerfoot could be the perfect candidate for help.
Kaapo Kakko was selected second overall in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he has struggled to find his way with the New York Rangers. Whether or not that’s due to mismanagement is up for debate, but he may need a change of scenery to get things going.
Getting Kakko would be the most outlandish move the Sharks could possibly make. Realistically, this trade is probably never going to happen. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into. San Jose would have to give up a decent amount, but it could make sense if they go down the rebuilding route. If they pull this trade off, and Kakko breaks out, general manager Mike Grier would look like a genius.
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The Sharks have a lot of options to try and change up the roster. However, regardless of what moves they make, they need to figure out what their plan is for this season. If they want to compete, they should try utilizing their prospects to fill roster gaps, but if they want to make a trade, they have the resources to do so. Let’s just hope whatever they choose ends up paying off better than trades of the past.
Andrew Stille is a freelance writer for THW who is currently studying Journalism and Communication in college. In addition, he’s a devoted NHL content creator looking to grow and learn daily. Andrew is a trustworthy source for everything San Jose Sharks-related and strives to create fun and exciting articles for all readers.
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