3. Can Erik Karlsson stay healthy this season?
The Sharks did not get completely healthy Erik Karlsson last season with a groin injury, which hindered his ability to smoothly skate and find the back of the net.
Karlsson registered three goals and 45 points in 53 regular season games before finding a rhythm in the postseason with two goals and 16 points.
Yet, the nagging injuries derailed his durability in the moments that mattered most, and kept the two-time Norris Trophy winner from competing at his best in his first year as a Shark after the blockbuster trade a summer ago.
Now, after successful groin surgery and an 8-year, $92 million contract extension, Karlsson is due to unleash his full potential and be a dangerous threat every time he takes the ice.
He, along with Brent Burns, make an unstoppable top-two blue line pairing in the league, and wield powerful shots and fancy tricks up their sleeves on both special teams and at even-strength.
Karlsson is an offensive force on the ice. Aside from his stellar defensive and offensive capabilities, the main test will be if he can stay in tip-top shape through a 82-game campaign.
The six-time All-Star has played the full length of the regular season three times in his 10-year career with the last as an Ottawa Senator during the 2015-2016 season.
So, can Karlsson be consistently healthy while maintaining a high compete level on the ice?
The answer points to yes. All he has to do is just prove it.