San Jose Sharks Have Established Core To Rebuild Around

The San Jose Sharks are in the midst of breaking things down and rebuilding the right way. They got a big haul for Timo Meier which really helped them along, first because the team will be worse without his production and get better draft picks, and second because they got a number of high picks and good prospects. They intend and hope to get another large return for Erik Karlsson in the summer before Logan Couture eventually gets moved before he falls off.

It takes longer with some teams than others, but every rebuilding organization must find the core group of players they feel comfortable rebuilding around. In the Sharks' case, they have a number of those pieces already in play, it's just about developing most of them and getting them more experience. This will come in time and with the work Mike Grier has already done, the Sharks look like they can come out of a rebuild fairly strong in 3-4 years.

Sometimes teams choose to keep an older player or two around through the rebuild as the Sharks appear to be doing with Tomas Hertl. In this case, it helps grow chemistry, keeps the team above the cap floor, and keeps a leader in the room for the young players to learn from. Couture is still around and played great this season, but as he's 34, his contract will likely look bad by the end and he may not see the end of the rebuild with San Jose.

Now for the exciting part, looking at which young players and prospects appear to be the pieces in place to build around for the Sharks. Through drafting and trading, they have acquired William Eklund, Thomas Bordeleau, Ozzy Weisblatt, Fabian Zetterlund, Mario Ferraro, and Henry Thrun, but are also hopeful for Filip Bystedt and Shakir Makhamadullin. Who knows who else could come out of their system and surprise or on the other hand who could flop. It's looking promising, except in goal.

The last piece of the puzzle will be finding a younger goalie that can also grow with the team. Since Kaapo Kahkonen hasn't been that player and Adin Hill was traded, they could either score one through the draft or acquire someone in a trade. The top name that comes to mind is Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. He wasn't particularly happy at the end of the season being sat in favour of Devon Levi, but understood it. Luukkonen was the last big thing in Buffalo before Levi arrived and could be pushed out with Eric Comrie under contract and now room to be the starter. He's young enough and has lots of potential. Playing time is something the Sharks can give him and should realistically trade for him this summer as everything lines up.

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