Not only did the Sharks invest a significant amount of collateral into acquiring Erik Karlsson they doubled down on their sentiment by offering the Swedish skater a max contract which made him the highest paid blueliner in the NHL.
This is a gamble on San Jose’s part, taking into account EK65’s 2018 – 2019 got hindered by injuries which stopped him from suiting up every night.. The defenseman was only able to play in 53 games which was off from his average over the past 5 season (78.8). Nevertheless despite the lack availability, Karlsson’s presence had a positive effect on the Sharks production.
On an individual level the 29-year-old performed relatively well racking up 45 points. He accumulated a major chunk of that production during impressive point streak where he scored 25 points in just 14 games. Essentially when EK65 is healthy and fully engaged in the Sharks are one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL.
Karlsson’s ability to transition the puck, contribute in the offensive zone, and high-end skate speed are all worth banking on despite last year’s groin injury. He underwent surgery almost immediately after the Sharks exit from the Western Conference Finals to repair the damage done over the course of a grueling season and appears to be 100% heading into next season.
The Sharks going will be relying heavily on Erik Karlsson in 2019 – 2020. He’s proven that he is an elite defender in the NHL, now all he has to do is stay healthy for an entire season in a Teal sweater.