The San Jose Sharks have re-upped with one of their few bright spots from last season, Melker Karlsson.
Karlsson has agreed to a two-year, $3.25 million extension that carries a $1.625M average annual cap hit — a nice bump from the $825,000 he made last year.
The 24-year-old Swede, who came to North America last year after spending all of his professional career in his native country, finished the season with 13 goals and 24 points in 53 games. Karlsson also averaged 15:26 TOI per night, this after starting the year with AHL Worcester (where he had 10 points in 20 games).
As mentioned above, Karlsson’s performance was one of the rare positives in an otherwise negative campaign for the Sharks. The club failed to make the playoffs for the first time in over a decade but Karlsson, plucked from SHL club Skelleftea, showed some real promise and a goalscoring touch that could benefit San Jose moving forward.
The San Jose Sharks have agreed to terms with Finnish forward Joonas Donskoi, per Sports Consulting Group agent Scott Bartlett.
It’s a two-year pact, with Finnish news outlet Ilta-Sanomat reporting an average annual value of $925,000.
Donskoi, 23, is coming off a banner 2014-15 campaign in which he scored 49 points in 58 games for SM-liiga club Karpat, then captured the Jari Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP.
A former Florida draftee (99th overall, 2010), Donskoi followed up his successful season with Karpat by scoring eight points in eight games for Finland at the World Hockey Championships. Donskoi finished third on the team in scoring, three back of Florida’s Jussi Jokinen.
This is the second young veteran San Jose has scooped out of Europe in as many years. Last summer, the club did very well in getting Swedish forward Melker Karlsson out of SHL club side Skelleftea; Karlsson went on to have a solid freshman campaign for the Sharks, scoring 13 goals and 24 points in 53 games.
Might need a few ice packs after this game at Levi’s Stadium. The heavy hitting has been a constant theme between the L.A. Kings and San Jose Sharks throughout the evening.
Take, for instance, this massive collision between Robyn Regehr and Melker Karlsson late in the second period. That’s a rather large run-in with the boards. Karlsson was shaken up but continued to battle with Regehr as the shift continued.
The two teams had combined for more than 70 hits into the third period.
With just two wins in their last nine, the San Jose Sharks are shaking up their lines for tonight’s game in Dallas.
From CSN Bay Area:
Against the Stars, indications are Logan Couture will center Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels on the (top?) line, while Joe Thornton skates between Patrick Marleau and Melker Karlsson on another line. Tyler Kennedy will get bumped up to a third line role with center James Sheppard and Matt Nieto, while rookie Chris Tierney will be between Tomas Hertl and Andrew Desjardins on the fourth line.
Couture has spent most of the season skating with Marleau, while Thornton has most often been with Pavelski.
Of the four, it’s Marleau the Sharks could use more from. The 35-year-old has just 11 goals in 59 games. He finished last season with 33 goals.
Five-on-five, Marleau and Thornton haven’t skated regularly together since 2011-12.
Related: Sharks risking ‘national embarrassment’ in outdoor game: columnist
The play of Antti Niemi was the difference. And maybe a quick whistle, too.
Niemi stopped all 31 shots he faced and the Sharks were able to hold on for a 2-0 win over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks in a physical affair Saturday evening. San Jose grabbed a lead at the 5:09 mark of the opening period thanks to a goal from Melker Karlsson that appeared to go in off Chicago’s Duncan Keith.
From there, it was the Niemi Show. His teammates manufactured only 20 shots on goal the entire night.
He made a spectacular save on Jonathan Toews on a short-handed breakaway late in the second period, and then denied the Blackhawks’ captain numerous times on the ensuing scramble in the San Jose crease before a quick whistle with the puck clearly visible to everyone except the referee stopped play.
Joe Thornton scored into an empty net to secure the win for San Jose.