On Monday, the San Jose Sharks took care of locking up one of their top young stars, as they inked center Joe Pavelski to a five-year extension. The Sharks had already signed Logan Couture to a similar deal earlier this summer, and have now guaranteed that two of their brightest young offensive stars will be with the team through the 2018-19 season. Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle are all set to be free agents next summer, and with this deal the team showed they are placing an emphasis on youth and the veterans may have to take small pay cuts to stick around.
Pavelski’s deal is for $30 million, the same amount Couture received earlier in July. The $6 million per season may seem high at first, but it’s hard to argue with when considering how important Pavelski is to the Sharks. He plays vital roles on special teams units, and was third on the team in points during the 2013 season. His 16 goals and 31 points were right on track to match his output from the previous season (had the 2013 campaign not been shortened by the lockout), and he added four goals and 12 points in 11 playoff games.
A look at Pavelski’s production over the last five seasons shows just how consistent he has been, as he put up totals of 59, 51, 66, 61 and 31 points. He’ll need to do a little bit more to fully justify this contract, but it’s not unthinkable he would have got a similar deal or better had he hit the open market next summer. Thornton and Marleau are nearing the end of the road, and the Sharks now have two players in Pavelski and Couture that they can continue to build around.