Erik Karlsson/Marc-Edouard Vlasic
For the last couple of years, Erik Karlsson has been a staple on Ottawa’s top pairing with interchanging partners of Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki, and Fredrik Claesson – all of which who share a common element – physicality.
However, coming to San Jose, Karlsson most likely teams up with a defenseman with a different style of play – the attentive defensive mindset of Marc-Edouard Vlasic . For the upcoming season, the two-time Norris Trophy winner will find his fair share of ice time with Vlasic as the strongest defensive duo on the team.
More from Blades of Teal
- San Jose Sharks fans need this Erik Karlsson shirt from BreakingT
- Norris Trophy odds show Erik Karlsson a step above the rest
- Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?
- Korenar deserves a chance at the NHL level
- Three prospects the Sharks should consider drafting
Karlsson and Vlasic form an optimal combination with Karlsson providing speedy skating and a sharp mind while Vlasic’s long reach and active awareness grants him the ability to interfere with opponents’ passing and shooting lanes in the defensive zone.
A top-five defenseman in the league, Karlsson has racked up six seasons of 60+ points with his highest total of 82 accumulated during his 2015-2016 campaign. Last year, Karlsson notched nine goals and 53 assists in 71 games, including 18 power play points. Karlsson is a two-way threat that can tighten up to defend the fortress, and then quickly transition with his swift mobility to jump up on odd-man rushes.
Despite partnering with Justin Braun over the past five seasons, Vlasic sees a new right-hand man by his side.
For the 35th overall pick by the Sharks in 2005, Marc-Edouard Vlasic has steadily improved into an elite, steadfast defender. In a dozen seasons with San Jose, Vlasic has recorded an average of 22:04 time on ice, a career plus/minus of +138, and 174 blocked shots, to lead the team.
Last year, Vlasic saw more scoring opportunities and took them, tallying a season-high 11 goals to accompany his 21 assists. The 31-year-old native of Montreal stands as the Sharks finest left-handed defensemen, quietly increasing his chances for contention of the Norris Trophy.