San Jose Sharks Midseason Report Card: Patrick Marleau

Kelley L. Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted second overall by the San Jose Sharks in the 1997 draft, Patrick Marleau is in the middle of his 16th season in teal. The 34-year-old forward has spent the entirety of his NHL career in San Jose and has been one of the team’s top players for close to a decade.

Marleau has reached the 30-goal plateau six times in his career and is on pace to do so again this season. In 59 games, he has 23 goals and 27 assists for 50 points. Marleau has fired 206 shots on goal, ranking fourth in the league in that category.

A speedy forward with high-end offensive skills, Marleau is a threat every time he touches the puck and is a key component of the Sharks’ supremely talented offense. He ranks third on the squad in total points, behind only captain Joe Thornton and 29-year-old standout Joe Pavelski. Marleau’s 23 goals puts him second to Pavelski (29) for the team lead in goals, too.

Among the league’s strongest two-way players, Marleau plays a crucial role in San Jose’s success defensively and on the penalty kill. He plays on the club’s first PK unit and has helped them achieve the eighth-best penalty-killing percentage in the NHL at 83.7 percent. Marleau’s speed, tenacity and positioning allow him to shut down opposing forwards and break up scoring chances, which is why he’s widely regarded as an elite defensive forward.

It’s difficult to find players who can contribute in all three zones and still produce offense at a high level, but that’s exactly what the Sharks have in Marleau. He’s approaching the final seasons of his career yet still manages to skate like the wind and score goals in bunches. Marleau is putting together another solid season in San Jose, and his performance to date has earned him a solid “A” on his report card.

Sam Kelly is a San Jose Sharks columnist for RantSports. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your Google network.

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