3 Sharks With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The San Jose Sharks are in a clear rebuild, but they aren't without talent...or at least players who used to show a lot of talent. This is a team I would label as a group of misfits that still might have the potential to do well in some instances. By no means do I believe they will make the playoffs, but there are some players that could find some success there and up their value before the trade deadline or free agency.

Kevin Labanc

Kevin Labanc once showed a lot of promise with the Sharks, but this was when the team was still strong. Despite playing on the second, third and fourth lines in his career, his best season came in 2018-19 when he was a third line player. That season he scored 17 goals and 56 points. He hasn't touched either of those since, but he has experienced a few shortened seasons to be fair. With the uncertainty of the Sharks' lineup heading into the season, the 27-year-old could seize a more impactful role and put up over 40 points once again. He's heading into his final year under contract, so he has to show improvement on his prior seasons if he wants a solid contract.

Mackenzie Blackwood

Mackenzie Blackwood was phased out of New Jersey by the end of his time there and they didn't send him a qualifying offer. He found a home in San Jose for this season and next, and will be looking to the level he was at in his two rookie seasons. He struggled in the 20 starts with the devils last season, having just a 3.20 goals against average and .893 save percentage. He will likely be splitting the net this season, so not a ton of pressure will be on him. But he will have the opportunity to take the number one job in San Jose though.

Filip Zadina

Filip Zadina has already been labelled a bust by many people, but the former sixth overall pick is only 23 years old and was in a jammed lineup in Detroit, limiting his opportunity. He has a clear chance in the top-nine in San Jose this season and if he can only transfer the scoring he's shown in every other league, he will start to look like the player expected. Zadina is looking to prove he's a talented player worth keeping around.

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