Melker Karlsson

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Sharks keep stockpiling European free agents, land Sandberg

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Doug Wilson is at it again.

On Thursday, the Sharks GM confirmed yesterday’s news — the signing of Czech d-man Radim Simek — and announced that Swedish forward Filip Sandberg had agreed to a two-year deal.

“Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space,” Wilson said in a release. “He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players.

“We are excited for him to join our organization.”

Sandberg, 22, is fresh off a Swedish League title with HV71. The club announced Sandberg would be headed overseas last week, but didn’t divulge what team had signed him.

It wasn’t surprising NHL clubs had interest. Sandberg had a good offensive campaign in Sweden, scoring 25 points in 52 regular season games, then broke out for six goals and 14 points in 16 playoff contests.

Prior to this year, Sandberg twice represented Sweden at the World Juniors, including the 2013 tournament where the country won silver. He finished with two goals in six games playing alongside the likes of Filip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson, Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask.

As for Simek, he inked a one-year deal.

“Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge,” said Wilson. “We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America.”

Simek just finished representing his native Czech Republic at the World Hockey Championship, where he had two points in eight games.

According to a report from Radio Praha, the Sharks beat out the Rangers to acquire Simek. Passed over in his draft year, the 24-year-old has spent his entire pro career with Liberec Bili Tygri.

As mentioned above, Wilson has done well finding European skaters in their early-to-mid-20s, ones that can contribute right away at the NHL level: Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi and Marcus Sorensen, most specifically.

The hope now is that Simek and Sandberg will continue that trend.

Report: Sharks sign Czech d-man Simek

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San Jose’s had good success scouting European leagues in recent years, and the club is hopeful that trend continued on Monday.

The Sharks have signed d-man Radim Simek out of the Czech League, per NBC Sports California. It’s a one-year, two-way pact for the 24-year-old, who just finished representing his native Czech Republic at the World Hockey Championship.

Simek had two points in eight games for the Czechs.

According to a report out of Radio Praha, the Sharks beat out the Rangers to acquire Simek. Passed over in his draft year, Simek has spent his entire pro career with Liberec Bili Tygri.

As mentioned above, Sharks GM Doug Wilson has done well finding European skaters in their early-to-mid-20s, ones that contribute right away at the NHL level: Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi and Marcus Sorensen, most specifically.

Sharks extend Karlsson (three years, $6M) and Donskoi (two years, $3.8M)

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Earlier this week, we passed along a report that San Jose was close to inking Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi to multi-year contract extensions.

On Friday, the deals became official.

Karlsson has inked a three-year extension while Donskoi gets a two-year, the Sharks announced. Per TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, Karlsson’s is a $6 million pact ($2M average annual cap hit) while Donskoi’s is for $3.8 million ($1.9M hit).

Karlsson, 26, was plucked from the Swedish League three years ago and has evolved into a dependable two-way forward in San Jose. He’s posted double-digits in goals in three straight years.

“Melker plays an up-tempo, high-energy game and brings flexibility to our lineup wherever he plays,” GM Doug Wilson said in a release. “His tenacious style of play fits our team perfectly, and we feel confident using him in many different situations. He kills penalties, can play with high-end players and brings an honest effort night in and night out. We’re excited he has made this commitment to the organization.”

Donskoi, 25, was signed out of the Finnish League two years ago. He had a solid rookie campaign for the Sharks before injuries played a role in his disappointing sophomore campaign. After scoring 11 goals and 36 points in his first year, Donskoi had just six and 11 this season (though he was limited to just 61 games played).

“Joonas plays a solid two-way game, combining his skill and creativity with an aggressive, hard-working effort in all three zones,” said Wilson. “He plays the game the way we want to play as a team, and we feel he has only scratched the surface of his abilities. He battled through multiple injuries last season and we look forward to having him healthy at training camp this season.”

The deals are good value for San Jose, and nice raises for both players. Karlsson’s last deal paid $1.65 million annually while Donskoi’s came in at $925,000.

 

Report: Sharks close to multi-year extensions with Karlsson, Donskoi

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San Jose is on the verge of locking in two of its better depth forwards.

Per sources of the Mercury News’ Paul Gackle, the Sharks are close to multi-year extensions with Joonas Donskoi and Melker Karlsson. Both are pending RFAs.

The two are similar, in that GM Doug Wilson pried them out of top-flight European leagues at advanced ages.

Donskoi was signed out of the Finnish League at 23, and had a solid rookie campaign for the Sharks before injuries played a role in his disappointing sophomore campaign. After scoring 11 goals and 36 points in his first year, Donskoi had just six and 11 this season (though he was limited to just 61 games played).

Karlsson was plucked from the Swedish League, also at 23, and has evolved into a dependable two-way forward in San Jose. He’s posted double-digits in goals in three straight years though, like Donskoi, he battled injury in ’16-17 and only played 67 times.

It will be curious to see what kind of money and term the pair get. Karlsson’s last deal paid $1.65 million annually while Donskoi’s came in at $925,000 — both pretty good bargains.

Wilson will undoubtedly need to pay them more this time around. But having said that, Wilson also needs to be mindful of what’s down the road — big financial decisions to be made with veteran UFAs Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

 

Sharks say getting Jones, Vlasic signed before camp ‘a priority’

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Doug Wilson has a busy summer ahead.

Decisions need to be made on veteran leaders Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton, both pending UFAs. Those figure to be crucial negotiations but, to hear the Sharks GM explain it, there are equally vital deals to be reached with goalie Martin Jones, and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.

“Both of them are extremely important to get under contract,” Wilson said yesterday, per NBC Sports California. “We can start those discussions in the next little while.”

Both Jones and Vlasic have one year remaining on their current deals, and are eligible to sign extensions on July 1. Wilson said it’s a “priority” to get them done before September’s training camp.

Jones, 27, is heading into the last of a three-year, $9 million deal with a $3M average annual cap hit. It’s safe to assume he’s in for a lengthy extension with a significant raise, given how good he’s been since joining the Sharks. He backstopped them to the Cup Final last season and has been one of the league’s busiest workhorses, starting 65 games in each of the last two years.

Vlasic, 30, has spent his entire 10-year career in San Jose. He’s developed a reputation as one of the league’s better defensive defensemen, strengthened by his role on Canada’s gold medal-winning side at the 2014 Olympics, and 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Vlasic’s current deal — a five-year, $21.25 million pact — carries an average cap hit of $4.25M. Wilson didn’t mince words in describing how good he thinks Vlasic is.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” he said. “Marc-Edouard is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

At this point, it’s fair to speculate when all these deals will get done. Wilson has a full plate with the four aforementioned negotiations, and also has to hammer out contracts for a trio of RFA forwards — Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi and Chris Tierney.