Since he was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs, Alexander Barabanov has been one of the best members of the San Jose Sharks organization. The growth of the St Petersburg native has been staggering in the teal of this organization. After moving Antti Suomela to the Leafs to acquire Barabanov, this has been a major victory for the Sharks front office.
In 153 games as a member of the San Jose Sharks organization, Barabanov has 28 goals and 65 assists for 93 points. To put up totals like this while playing higher up the roster against more difficult competition than he otherwise would is a sign that this is a player who can be a good depth piece for a lot of contending teams. He’s going to be the strongest trade chip the Sharks have at the deadline if they can’t re-sign him.
But there is an issue. Barabanov has only played six games this season because of an injury, and he’s not produced a single point at this moment. Part of this is because the Sharks’ schedule to start the season was brutal and partly because he hasn’t reached the heights of the lofty expectations he set for himself in the Bay Area. But what could Mike Grier realistically expect back for Barby?
Barabanov makes $2 million in salary but carries a $2.5 million cap hit. For someone who can produce how he has in San Jose, a second-round pick has to be the starting point. If a first is offered, great. But a second-round pick should be the minimum. If the organization needs to take money back, too, there should be more added to it. Barabanov is such a strong piece.