The San Jose Sharks don’t actually have a true fourth line center. Barclay Goodrow has performed well during his time at center this season. Goodrow has compiled 13 points with 5 goals averaging 10:44 of ice time, per Hockey-Reference. He’s strong on his skates and plays a physical game but center is not his natural position. It would be wise for the San Jose Sharks to target a legitimate center in the upcoming weeks.
This is why Matt Cullen seems like a perfect fit for a San Jose Sharks team looking to solidify their depth at center entering the Stanley Cup playoffs. Matt Cullen has accumulated 15 points, with 11 of them being primary. Cullen has been sneakily effective this season and hopefully the Pittsburgh Penguins are failing to notice it.
Matt Cullen is registering an absolutely ridiculous 13.51 ZSR over the course of 45 games this season, per Corsica.Hockey. His -8.45 xG+/- is extremely impressive considering he is consistently buried in his own zone. His on ice SCF% at 41.65% and HDCF 45.26 HDCF per naturalstatrick, illustrates that he and his line mates do a good job at limiting the damage done by opposing teams.
Barclay Goodrow can still be an effective piece on a Stanley Cup roster but his skill set would be better utilized at the wing. His game might even start to pick up with a reliable center who can take a bulk of the defensive and face-off responsibilities.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are fighting for their playoff lives and recently lost defensemen Olli Maatta to long-term injury. The San Jose Sharks have depth on defense, especially the left side which is where Maatta was slotted. This makes Joakim Ryan a perfect piece for a swap. Doug Wilson might have to throw in a pick or a prospect to seal the deal, but an investment on Cullen could pay off big come playoff time.