Are These Sharks Ready to Take the Next Step?
The Sharks were unable to snag John Tavares during this years free agency period. In response to this, rather than overspending on Free Agents, San Jose instead extended the contracts of their core players and kept the money in-house. These players are expected to elevate their game and help this team on their current quest for a Stanley Cup.
Evander Kane was a huge acquisition at last year’s trade deadline. He signed a monster 7 year 49 million dollar contract during the offseason per capfriendly. The Sharks are banking on him to elevate his game and stay on the ice during this 2018 – 2019 campaign. It’s not unrealistic for Kane to be the Sharks leading scorer. He will most likely get first line minutes with Pavelski and Thornton. EK9 still has a lot to prove, but it’s obvious that the Sharks believe that he is a core piece for their future success.
Tomas Hertl also signed a 4 year, 5.6 million dollar extension this summer. The Sharks seem committed to the Czech forward and are hoping that he will continue to increase his offensive production. He meshed very well with center Logan Couture, and his proficiency in the face-off circle is immensely important for this team. Hertl has steadily evolved his game over the past few years, but the Sharks are looking for him to be more consistent in the offensive zone. Still they believe enough in the 24 year old forward to lock him down for the next half a decade.
Chris Tierney was an unsung hero for the Sharks last year. He quietly compiled 40 points and was part of one the best penalty kill units in recent memory. The Sharks definitely noticed his merits and rewarded them with a 2 year 6 million contract per capfriendly. Look for Tierney to improve on that career high this year with a raise in offensive zone starts at 5v5 and more power play time. He has earned more and more of the coaching staffs trust over the recent years and has become one of the Sharks key players.