San Jose Sharks Report Cards: The Dynamic Defense

SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 31: An overhead view of the San Jose Sharks bench as they face the Calgary Flames at SAP Center on March 31, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - MARCH 31: An overhead view of the San Jose Sharks bench as they face the Calgary Flames at SAP Center on March 31, 2019 in San Jose, California (Photo by Brandon Magnus/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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San Jose Sharks Justin Braun shrugs off a defender
SAN JOSE, CA – OCTOBER 3: San Jose Sharks defenseman Justin Braun (61) battles Anaheim Ducks right wing Troy Terry (61) during the San Jose Sharks game versus the Anaheim Ducks on October 3, 2018, at SAP Center at San Jose in San Jose, CA. (Photo by Matt Cohen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

Justin Braun

Grade: C+

After Karlsson transitioned to San Jose, Justin Braun became the odd man out in the Sharks core blueline.

Primarily placed on the third line, Braun struggled with his new defense pairings, being separated from Vlasic after five years working side-by-side.

The quiet, sturdy defenseman will want to put this year in the rear-view mirror, finishing with only 16 points and a minus-14 rating. On the bright side, Braun delivered a team-high 120 blocks and 121 hits, inserting his physical presence when the Sharks needed to defend their zone.

Braun took a high hit from Sammy Blais in the WCFs, but he kept his composure throughout the playoffs as a solid staple on the blueline.