NHL Rumors: Draisaitl Linked To Surprise Team If He Reaches Free Agency


He's kind of busy right now, helping the Edmonton Oilers battle the Vancouver Canucks in a hard-fought second-round series, but that doesn't stop observers from speculating on where Leon Draisaitl might wind up if the Oilers don't sign him to an extension come July 1st. 

ESPN hockey insider Greg Wyshynski, appearing on the Jeff Marek Show, wondered if the German superstar could be interested in landing with the San Jose Sharks. “Do you think Draisaitl would go to San Jose because their owner is German?” asked Wyshynski. "Have you ever heard that? I heard that for the first time the other day, and I thought, 'oh, alright'.”

"There's an opportunity", answered Marek, who then followed with, "that's kind of been whispered for a while now."

"It's interesting that we both heard this in the spoken whispers of the back rooms," offered Wyshysnki, who then went on to list off a number of reasons why it makes sense, aside from German owner Hasso Plattner.

  • Emerging market
  • Great young players
  • He can be compensated very well by the Sharks
For now, it sounds like a big step down for Draisaitl, from a Stanley Cup contender, to the very bottom of the standings. But a lot of things can change between now and the end of the 2024-25 season. 

Draisaitl, who is coming off his fifth 100-point season in the last six years, with a Hart Trophy and an Art Ross under his belt, will be entering the final season of an 8-year, $8.5M AAV contract next year, but the Oilers can sign him to an extension as of July 1st this year. 

A lot could depend upon what happens the rest of the way in these playoffs. The Oilers are currently locked at two games apiece with the Canucks in their second-round series.

Photo: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports