NHLTR Mock Trade: San Jose Sharks Trade Erik Karlsson to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Welcome to the NHLTR mock trade series where we will showcase a potential 2023 offseason trade. From minor moves to major transactions, everything will be covered as we try to predict how the chips may fall this summer across the NHL.

For the latest mock deal, we head to sunny California and circle the waters with the San Jose Sharks. Both general manager Mike Grier and the agent for Erik Karlsson are trying to work on a trade for the Norris trophy winner. Karlsson doesn't want to be a part of a rebuild and is willing to waive his no-movement clause to join a Stanley Cup contender. One team in hot pursuit? The Pittsburgh Penguins.

NHLTR Mock Trade: The Sharks deal Karlsson to the Penguins for Mikael Granlund, Ty Smith, Casey DeSmith, and a 2024 first-round pick. 

Sharks perspective: The Sharks are going to retain some salary in any Karlsson deal but it doesn't sound like they have interest in a full 50%. In this deal they get DeSmith to work in tandem in net, they get Smith who is young and has top-four potential, Granlund who can plug and play as a hard working veteran forward and a first-round pick, likely somewhere between 15-25 next summer. Grier has also been talking to the Seattle Kraken and the Toronto Maple Leafs about Karlsson.

Penguins perspective: Kyle Dubas was interested in acquiring Karlsson last season with the Leafs and now turns his attention back to him in Pittsburgh. The Penguins need to refresh their defense and have started the process adding Ryan Graves. Dubas is trying to move Jeff Petry but so far no takers. They've locked in Tristan Jarry, added some more secondary scoring and a bruising defenseman in Graves. If they can somehow land another offensive weapon in Karlsson, look out for the Penguins in 23-24.  

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