Team Teal announced today that Kevin Labanc will be returning to the San Jose Sharks on a one year deal worth approx 1 million dollars.
The San Jose Sharks locked in another key piece for next season with the extension of restricted free agent Kevin Labanc on a one year contract with a base salary of 715,00 and 285,000 in signing bonuses for a total of 1 million dollars, per capfriendly.
The 23-year-old is coming off a career year compiling 56 points with 17 of those being goals. Labanc continues to elevate his game with more and more opportunities given to him while he gained confidence from the coaching staff.
Labanc’s season really took off after being tagged alongside Joe Thornton who’s resurgence in Teal helped guide the young winger through his 3rd official season on San Jose’s big club . The duo formed a dynamic 3rd line that stretched out the Sharks depth, making Team Teal a match-up nightmare versus opposing teams.
Not only was he extremely effective at 5v5, Labanc’s proficiency on the power play has steadily increased over the course of his time in Teal. His 20 points last year being primarily on the second power play. However with the departure of Joe Pavelski the top unit is missing an impactful right-handed shot. Kevin Labanc’s shown that he can be the perfect candidate for the part.
San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson agrees that Labanc can take a huge leap in his development next season with more ice time, better line-mates, and more advantageous zone starts.
“He’s always had a dangerous shot but really stepped into a playmaking role for us last season and improved his 200-foot game as well. We think he still has even more potential to tap into and we’re excited to see what he can do with an elevated role with this talented group.
After this contract expires Labanc will become a restricted free agent once again, but this time he will have arbitration rights which will likely led to a larger payday for the former Barrie Colt. But for now the 1 million dollar figure will give the Sharks front office plenty of flexibility when it comes to resigning players to fill out the rest of the roster.
Like Timo Meier it’ll be fascinating to see what Kevin Labanc can do with an expanded role on the San Jose Sharks. Expect Labanc to see top line minutes against some of the leagues best competition, especially with the Sharks lack of right-handed shots up front.