In what was fairly evident to anyone watching the Stanley Cup Final, team teal needed more speed in their lineup and they’ve done that with their free-agent acquisitions.
The Penguins simply skated circles around team teal at times, and it was pretty clear the Sharks were a step behind throughout that entire series.
So, after seeing first-hand what his team’s biggest weaknesses were, general manager Doug Wilson went out and made two signings during free agency with that in mind.
Insert Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko, two players who are both instant upgrades in that department as San jose looks to address a need within the framework of their team.
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Boedker especially is someone who should excite Sharks fans, and they should be well aware of his skill set after he played his first seven-plus seasons with the Arizona Coyotes.
He’s the perfect type of player for this group as he’s a talented winger that has shown flashes of his offensive potential. Last season, between the Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche, Boedker tied a career-high with 51 points, as he’s now amassed 84 goals and 141 assists in 463 career games.
Here’s Boedker talking about the style of game he plays:
The nice part about Boedker is he provides plenty of options for Peter DeBoer up front. He can slide him on the top line, second line or even the third line depending on the style of play.
His speed will be an asset no matter where he slides in and he will be a player that will help push the pace for team teal next year.
Not to be overlooked, the Schlemko move was also a nice signing by Wilson as it was clear the Sharks third-pairing really struggled against the Penguins in moving the puck out of their own zone.
In Schlemko, San Jose is getting someone who is capable of playing on that bottom pairing and a great insurance option. He will likely battle for ice time along with Dylan DeMelo and Brenden Dillon, but I’d expect Schlemko to factor into the lineup on most occasions.
He had a career-year in New Jersey with six goals, 13 assists and 19 points, and can help team teal in transitioning the puck out of their own end.
It was another successful free agency period for Wilson, and he has this Sharks team in another position to make a run next season.
San Jose is very deep up front and now has some more depth on their blue line. The Sharks can now play almost any style of hockey that you want whether that be a grind it out style of game or a speed game as this team just got much quicker with the additions Wilson just made.