3 Reasons Why the San Jose Sharks Extended Marcus Sorensen

SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 08: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Kris Russell (4) brings down San Jose Sharks right wing Marcus Sorensen (20) during the San Jose Sharks game versus the Edmonton Oilers on January 8, 2019, at SAP Center in San Jose, CA (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - JANUARY 08: Edmonton Oilers defenseman Kris Russell (4) brings down San Jose Sharks right wing Marcus Sorensen (20) during the San Jose Sharks game versus the Edmonton Oilers on January 8, 2019, at SAP Center in San Jose, CA (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The San Jose Sharks made a move to solidify their forward depth when they extended Marcus Sorensen for two more years. The deal was a pleasant surprise for members of Team Teal and fans alike considering he’s become a favorite both in and outside of the organization.

Marcus Sorensen was initially scouted and signed out of the SHL on May 13th 2016. The 26-year-old has been moved up and down the Sharks organizational depth chart for the past couple years but inevitably solidified his spot on the team with his performance in last years Stanley Cup playoffs.

He carried his strong play during the playoffs into the first half of the 2018 – 2019 campaign, setting new career highs with 9 goals and 15 primary points (16 total). He’s provided some extremely valuable depth scoring and is effective in all three zones.

So when the news broke that the San Jose Sharks had extended the Swedish skater to a 2 year 1.5  million dollar AAV deal, per Capfriendly; not many questioned the decision made by General Manager Doug Wilson. The Sharks front office has been fairly busy lately filling out their roster depth. This is their second signing of a forward in nearly a week; they signed Lukas Radil to a 1 year extension on January 6th.

Sorensen’s play doesn’t immediately jump out at you when you’re watching him play.  But when you look into the underlying numbers pertaining to his presence on the ice you start to see how effective a skater Marcus can be.

The Old Man’s New Right Hand Man

Joe Thornton had a pretty wobbly start to the season missing 9 games with an infection in his surgically repaired knee. When he returned it was slow going, with Coach Pete DeBoer shuffling line mates hoping to generate some results. After some trial and error he finally found a spark with the combination of Sorensen and Thornton.

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Since the two were placed on the same line together on November 6th, against the Minnesota Wild the two have showed great chemistry with one another. They are posting 56 CF%, 54 FF%, and 54 SF% through 34 games played at 5v5.

The tandem gets the majority scoring chances when their on the ice. Sorensen weaves through the offensive zone looking for open passing lanes that Jumbo can fire the puck through. This translates into the Sharks controlling 53% of the high danger scoring chances while they were on the ice.

Even with the advantage as far as puck possession  and shot share go the two are breaking even in GF%. However this can probably be credited to their poor 8.21 shooting percentage. Recently Joe Pavelski was added to their line on the right side who leads the team in shooting percentage. Maybe his scorers touch can tilt the ice in their favor and lead to more goals.

He’s Sort of a Pest…

Something that has been a bit of a surprise this year is the backbone that Sorensen’s shown through the early stages of the season. Whenever their are scrums on the ice when Sorensen’s out there he’ll be in the middle of it. He’s not the biggest skater registering at  5’11 175 pounds, but he’s able to throw his weight around.

He’s 5th on the team in hits with 54 at all strengths, which is something no one would of expected at the start of the season. He’s also been very strong with and without the puck. His 21 takeaways, with only 11 giveaways is an impressive ratio. This shows that opponents are having a difficult time maintaining possession when Sorensen’s on the ice.

Not only is he strong with the puck he’s also an extremely disciplined on his skates. He is second on the team with 16 penalties drawn, while only committing 6 through 48 games played. The ability to draw penalties is key, especially with the Sharks power play rounding into shape lately.

Swedish Army Knife

With the more ice time Coach Pete DeBoer gives to Sorensen the more he shows his ability to play in all 3 zones. He’s distributed pretty evenly between zones with a 54% ZSR, per Corsica.Hockey. His on ice shot share percentages illustrate that the Sharks spend more time in the opponents end when Marcus is on the ice.

The last bit of information that really illustrates Sorensen’s importance to the San Jose Sharks is his impact on the penalty kill. He’s 5th on the team in minutes logged by a forward short handed. With a man down Sorensen has still been able to produce on the scoreboard. He is tied for the team lead in short handed points with 2.

Sorensen has established some decent chemistry with Joe Thornton but he is useful enough to be deployed anywhere in your line up. If a top line needs a spark or the fourth line needs some skill to make an impact Marcus is the guy DeBoer turns to.

The Sharks are convinced that Marcus Sorensen is the type of skater they want wearing a teal sweater for years to come. We are only half way through the season and he’s already set career highs in goal and point totals. Keep an eye for the Swedish skater to make good on his new contract extension.

The statistics in this article were provided by naturalstattrick.com unless stated otherwise in the text.