San Jose Sharks' Top Trade Candidate This Season

Choosing the top trade candidate for the San Jose Sharks was no easy task. The decision was between three good choices that very well all may be moved during this season in an attempt to get assets for the future.

The choice was between Timo Meier, Erik Karlsson, and James Reimer. Considering Meier is an underpaid star and is a RFA at the end of the season, he could be a very good rental with team control and an option to sign or trade his rights. Regardless, the team would be getting what they paid for if they acquired Meier, and the Sharks are at the wrong point in their rebuilding process to keep and re-sign an impactful player like him.

There have been a lot of rumours surrounding Karlsson this season as he is having a resurgence at age 32 now that he's healthy. He leads all defencemen in goals (12) and points (37) in 30 games played, but has four more years remaining on his deal that sees him make $11.5 million. His impact with the Sharks this season is coming close to being worth it, but he isn't getting any younger. Any team trading for him will have to have or make a lot of room. The Sharks would have to retain a significant amount of salary and won't get a ton in return. But they would trade away a player that is almost single-handedly helping them win games this season and eating up a lot of cap space.

Reimer had a solid season in 2021-22 and has taken a bit of a step back this season. He started more than half of the games last season for the Sharks and had 19 wins, a .911 SV%, a 2.90 GAA, and a 5.9 GSAA. This season he's down to a .903 SV%, 3.00 GAA, and -0.6 GSAA. Given the Sharks seem even worse than last season, it's understandable. The veteran carries a cheap cap hit and can still play at a high level in net. He would be a strong backup rental option for teams who have a starter struggling or are looking to upgrade their backup. Many teams come to mind.

So after going through the three candidates, who is the top trade candidate? The choice has to be Meier. He will garner the best return and the Sharks aren't likely going to re-sign him due to the team rebuilding. He won't get as much of a return as Alex Debrincat got since he will likely be a trade deadline acquisition, but the Sharks should be happy with at least a first round pick and more.

Photo credit: © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports