The San Jose Sharks addressed their scoring depth by acquiring Jannik Hansen from the Vancouver Canucks. In exchange, the Sharks sent prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017 to the Canucks.
Sharks’ general manager Doug Wilson has never been hesitant to make a move to bolster the team. Unlike in previous years where the future draft picks were gambled away, Wilson has taken a refresh, reset approach with the roster. Although San Jose currently sits on top of the Pacific Division, offensive production is stagnant.
This season, multiple players have been inserted on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. To the dismay of Sharks’ coach Peter DeBoer, no player has held a firm grasp on the top line and without that consistent player, the Sharks’ power play has lacked bite with Thornton and Pavelski. San Jose’s power play is ranked 21st in the NHL with Norris Trophy frontrunner Brent Burns providing the only consistency on special teams.
Hansen will hopefully provide a steady presence on the top line as the Sharks prepare for the stretch run. Not only can he add scoring, but can provide an effective defense. Last season, Hansen set a career high in goals with 22 and finished with 38 points. He only has 13 points this season, but the numbers should climb after now being traded to a playoff-bound team.
A Prospect Falling out of Favor
Goldobin became expendable despite having an impressive campaign with the San Jose Barracuda. A current 14-game winning streak has the Barracuda sitting on top of the AHL standings. In 46 games, Goldobin has posted 41 points. He played two games this season for the Sharks but could not provide the spark from playing with the Barracuda.
As talented prospects were added to the Sharks’ once-depleted farm system, Goldobin began to fall out of favor. Indications first came after a road game against the New York Islanders. While Goldobin may still be young, he was not ready to play in the NHL full time. Goldobin scored his first career NHL goal against the Islanders but could not find the consistency to make a lasting mark on the Sharks’ coaching staff. His demotion was a message to work on all aspects of the game in order to earn another opportunity with the Sharks.
Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer was displeased with Goldobin at times during the 2015-16 season. Errant passes and lack of effort in the defensive zone showed he needed to grow both as a player and teammate. He may possess the skills as a scoring threat, but he has yet to learn to play both ends of the ice. His inability has contributed to him falling on the Sharks’ depth chart amongst prospects.
Drafted 27th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft, Goldobin is only 21 and is still learning to play at the NHL level. Like current Shark, Tomas Hertl, Goldobin hoped to follow him after playing in Europe for a season. The path never came to fruition as he needed time in the AHL after his brief stint last season with the Sharks. Vancouver is getting a quality player, but his weakness on defense may keep him from reaching full potential.
Wilson May Have One Move Left
With the NHL trade deadline near the end, Wilson may not be done just yet. Aaron Dell has done an admirable job backing up undisputed starter Martin Jones this season when called on. Even with Dell’s contributions, Wilson is still looking at a backup who could be more reliable between the pipes. Wilson may be best to stand pat now as the future looks promising with the current prospects in the Sharks’ system.
If the Sharks happen to be the team of destiny and win the Stanley Cup, the fourth-round pick sent to the Canucks will become a 2017 first-round pick.
C’mon Canucks fans, all together now, “Go Sharks Go !” https://t.co/laDt9rgeOW
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) March 1, 2017
San Jose has all the firepower needed to make another deep run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Hansen will provide assurance on the top line, so DeBoer will not have to juggle lines throughout the game. The power play should find consistency and be a force to reckon with when the playoffs arrive.