San Jose Sharks Acquire Martin Jones – Trade Analysis


December 19, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings goalie Martin Jones (31) defends the goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The goaltending situation was one of the areas the San Jose Sharks needed to address this summer. General manager Doug Wilson has got his man.

On Tuesday, the Sharks acquired goaltender Martin Jones from the Boston Bruins in exchange for Sean Kuraly and a first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, a pretty steep price to pay for a goalie that has never been a full-time starter in the NHL.

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  • Wilson had to pay a premium for the possibility of getting the right player who may grow into a great puck stopper. Jones certainly has the potential to be great, but with no experience as the starting goaltender in the NHL, this trade may leave more questions than answers. I cannot see any evidence that suggests the goaltending situation has been improved to the point where Sharks fans are confident.

    Naturally, Wilson seemed quite upbeat about the trade, despite giving a very generic statement about getting the player that he (apparently) was targeting all along:

    “Martin was at the top of our list of players that we had targeted,” Wilson told the Sharks website. “We’re extremely excited to have him on board.”

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    There are endless possibilities as to how this trade will pan out for the Sharks. Jones may end up growing into a great goaltender, becoming an icon for the Sharks, or he may not be good enough to be a starter. At this stage we can only hope and wait that Jones’ potential will transform into the real thing.

    Jones does have some good foundation that he can build on. He’s got great size at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. He was a starter for Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, then followed it up with another starting gig with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL.

    As far as his NHL numbers – he spent the last two seasons as a back-up goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings, and had some pretty good numbers. In 34 appearances with the Kings, Jones posted a 16-11-2 record with a .923 save percentage, a 1.99 goals-against-average, and an astounding seven shutouts. The direction is certainly the right one.

    Mar 28, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Alex Stalock (32) clears the puck out of the zone against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

    The acquisition of Jones creates more incentive for Alex Stalock to really challenge for the starting goaltender position this fall. Jones will be entering the training camp as the favorite, but he is not a lock. Jones will have to earn his starts, but this is a critical year for Stalock who could push Jones.

    In fact, the Sharks may end up with a 1A/1B tandem instead of the Starter/Back-Up combo. Jones’ arrival also means Troy Groesnick will get some valuable playing time in the AHL, rather than sitting on the bench in the NHL.

    The jury is still out on how Jones will fare in the Northern California. Jones can become the next long-term starting goalie for the Sharks, following the steps of Antti Niemi and Evgeni Nabokov. He has progressed through the ranks well, and ended up building a nice foundation to seize this opportunity to become a starter in the league.

    There are high hopes that Jones is the right goalie to invest in. The Sharks paid the price, and are now looking for big return on their investment.