Last Tuesday, the San Jose Sharks signed veteran defenseman Dalton Prout to a one-year deal, adding stability to the back-end of the blue line.
With the San Jose Sharks crunched on cap space, general manager Doug Wilson and the team have sought low-cost pieces to round out their roster.
San Jose already has an impressive defensive core with Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, but with the trade of Justin Braun, the Sharks needed to find an economical free agent to fill the gap.
The Sharks found their answer in Dalton Prout, who agreed to a one-year, one-way contract worth $800,000 for the 2019-2020 season. Here is what Wilson had to say about the newest addition to Team Teal
Wilson, on Dalton Prout: “Very smart defenseman…he can move the puck cleanly under pressure & keep his turnover rates low. His ability to hold the defensive zone blue line is underrated…one of the best at limiting net-front rebounds by effectively using his size & stick.”
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) July 2, 2019
Prout has bounced around the league the last few years, served as a heavy physical presence for Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils and Calgary Flames in small sample sizes.
While he holds a reputation to crash down and get in his opponents’ heads in the defensive zone, the 29-year-old defenseman struggles to produce as an offensive threat.
In his eight-year NHL career, Prout has never reached double-digit point totals and has yet to manage a consistent amount of time on ice. As a member of the Flames last season, the native of Kingsville, Ontario skated in 20 games, recording just two points and an average of 13 minutes on the ice each game.
Prout does not equip an explosive shot, but he does pack a powerful punch. He is not afraid to drop the gloves as he dawns 23 fights on his NHL resume. The Sharks need his size and strength to support the rotation for the developing and adjusting bottom-six forwards, such as Lukas Radil and Dylan Gambrell.
Expect Prout to fit on the bottom blue-line pairing alongside Tim Heed when necessary, and will have to fight to keep his position as Barracuda prospect Jacob Middleton could step in to take the job.
With the cheap investment for the veteran defenseman, the Sharks now can focus their money on signing free agents Kevin Labanc and Joe Thornton as well as bring back Patrick Marleau for a potential reunion.