5 Players San Jose Sharks Should Pursue at NHL Trade Deadline
Players San Jose Sharks Should Pursue at NHL Trade Deadline
With the NHL trade deadline right around the corner, teams throughout the league are beginning the process of tweaking their rosters one way or another. The clubs at the bottom of the standings will look to sell high on their veteran players, stocking up on prospects and draft picks as they build for the future. Meanwhile, the league’s top teams will try to outbid each other as they add the final pieces to their lineups while gearing up for the playoffs.
With a record of 34-15-6, the San Jose Sharks fall into the second category. They’re ranked fourth in the Western Conference and second in the Pacific Division despite having lost their last three games.
San Jose’s position in the standings means that it’s a virtual lock for a playoff spot, barring a losing streak of absurdly epic proportions during the second half of the season. It also means that the club may look to add a player or two before the trade deadline on March 5.
General manager Doug Wilson is notoriously tight-lipped, so the Sharks haven’t surfaced in any of the trade rumors thrown around over the last few weeks. If recent years are any indication, though, you can be sure that Wilson is working the phone lines. After all, he’s never been reluctant to deal away draft picks in exchange for veteran players at this time of year.
The Sharks could use the help, too. Despite their strong record, the team is banged up beyond belief. At just the forward position, San Jose currently has Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, Raffi Torres, Adam Burish and Tyler Kennedy out of the lineup due to injuries. Two of those players (Torres and Burish) haven’t suited up for a single game this season.
With all that said, here are five players the Sharks should try to add at the trade deadline.
5. PA Parenteau
Colorado Avalanche winger PA Parenteau is the definition of a late bloomer. Drafted in the ninth round of the 2001 entry draft, the 30-year-old forward didn't break into the league full-time until 2010. He posted 53 points in 81 games and has been a reliable point producer ever since.
In 41 games so far this season, Parenteau has nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points. He's rumored to be on the trade market and would fit in well on one of San Jose's top three lines where he would provide additional scoring depth for one of the league's best offenses.
4. Nikolai Kulemin
Nikolai Kulemin has yet to reach the offensive upside he displayed during a 57-point campaign in 2010, and at 27 years of age he may never do so. Still, the Russian winger is a fast skater, a solid defensive player and he provides a consistent physical presence.
Kulemin can play on either wing and has the skill-set to be a special teams contributor. In 44 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, he has eight goals and eight assists. He'd slide in nicely on the Sharks' third line.
3. Ray Whitney
Among the oldest players currently in the league, 41-year-old winger Ray Whitney was originally drafted by the Sharks in 1991. The speedy winger doesn't look a day over 30 when he's on the ice, and he can still be a factor offensively.
Whitney registered 77 points two seasons ago and put up 29 points in 32 games last year. His production has declined slightly this season with just 21 points through 47 matches, but he's still quick-footed and incredibly crafty with the puck on his stick. Whitney would be a valuable asset in San Jose's top-six and on their power play unit.
Plus, it would be nice to see Whitney spend potentially his last season in the NHL with the team he began his long career with.
2. Lee Stempniak
He's not flashy and he's certainly not the best forward on the market, but Lee Stempniak is an underrated utility player who can be effective on any forward line. The 30-year-old winger plays a fast, two-way game and can provide secondary scoring as demonstrated by his six 30-point campaigns.
Stempniak is having a strong season with the Calgary Flames with 22 points in 47 games. The veteran forward also has a whopping 137 shots on goal.
1. Matt Moulson
Matt Moulson is among the biggest names believed to be available this trade deadline. Recently dealt to the Buffalo Sabres, Moulson spent the last five seasons with the New York Islanders where he established himself as a steady 30-goal scorer.
The winger has 33 points on the season so far despite playing for the weakest club in the league. Set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer, Moulson will draw considerable interest from general managers looking to bolster their offense heading into the postseason. The price may be one that the Sharks aren't willing to pay, but if Tomas Hertl doesn't return to the lineup this year then the team will need another winger who can light the lamp in their top-six.