Sharks season preview: Quinn takes over team in transition

The 2022-23 NHL season begins Oct. 7. With coaching camps open, NHL.com is having a look on the 3 keys, the interior scoop on roster questions, and the projected lineup for each and every of the 32 groups. Today, the San Jose Sharks.

Coach: David Quinn (first season)

Last season: 32-37-13, 6th in Pacific Division; didn’t qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs

3 KEYS

1. Quinning time

Quinn has a 2nd likelihood to train in the NHL after the 56-year-old was once fired by way of the New York Rangers on May 12, 2021. He guided the United States to 5th position on the 2022 Beijing Olympics and what is forward of him is a team in transition that is ignored the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 3 instantly seasons after qualifying 14 of the former 15. The Sharks added forwards Nico Sturm, Luke Kunin, Oskar Lindblom and Steven Lorentz, and defensemen Matt Benning and Markus Nutivaara. But San Jose wishes best ahead potentialities William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau to sooner or later spark an offense that is thirtieth in the NHL in aims according to recreation the previous 3 seasons (2.58) and tied for twenty fifth at the energy play (17.1 p.c). Logan Couture (23 aims) was once the lone ahead instead of Timo Meier (35) and Tomas Hertl (30) to attain a minimum of 20 aims. San Jose averaged 2.57 aims according to recreation closing season, 3rd fewest at the back of the Arizona Coyotes (2.51) and Philadelphia Flyers (2.56).

2. Meier’s long term

Meier has but to talk with new common supervisor Mike Grier a few new contract, the ahead announcing right through the NHL European Player Media Tour on Aug. 24 that the 2 were getting to understand each and every different thru phone conversations. Meier is getting into the overall season of a four-year contract and will grow to be a limited loose agent.

3. Who’s No. 1?

Goalies James Reimer and Kaapo Kahkonen are most likely at the opening-night roster. The query is that if a No. 1 emerges or the Sharks cross with a timeshare. Reimer, 34, was once 19-17-10 with a 2.90 goals-against reasonable, .911 save proportion and one shutout in 48 video games (46 begins) closing season; Kahkonen, 26, was once 2-6-1 with a 2.86 GAA and .916 save proportion in 11 video games (10 begins) after he was once obtained in a industry with the Minnesota Wild on March 21. Quinn mentioned, “We love our goaltending depth,” however there is something to be mentioned in regards to the Sharks including 9 goalies to the group the previous 12-13 months.

Video: Timo Meier’s Future with San Jose Sharks

ROSTER RUNDOWN

Making the reduce

It’s no longer if, but if Eklund, who turns 20 on Oct. 12, and Bordeleau, a 20-year-old, will nudge a veteran out of the lineup. They will compete with a plethora of forwards together with Jasper Weatherby, a 24-year-old selected in the fourth spherical (No. 108) of the 2018 NHL Draft, and Evgeny Svechnikov, a 25-year-old who signed a one-year contract Sept. 6. The No. 19 select by way of the Detroit Red Wings in the 2015 NHL Draft has 31 issues (12 aims, 19 assists) in 113 NHL video games and didn’t obtain a qualifying be offering from the Winnipeg Jets.  

Most intriguing addition

Kunin is beginning over with the Sharks. The 24-year-old signed a two-year contract July 18, 10 days after he was once traded from the Nashville Predators. He was once the one Predators skater to play 82 video games, and his 13 aims ranked 6th amongst their forwards. The No. 15 select by way of the Wild in the 2016 NHL Draft will play for his 3rd NHL team however was once enjoying his highest hockey (31 issues; 15 aims, 16 assists in 63 video games) when the 2019-20 season was once paused because of issues surrounding the coronavirus. The Sharks are in dire want of intensity scoring, and Kunin may provide it if he will get again on the right track.

Biggest attainable wonder  

Alexander Barabanov has the glance of a past due bloomer. He signed a two-year contract May 9 to stick with the Sharks after atmosphere NHL profession highs of 10 aims, 29 assists and 39 issues in 70 video games, the 28-year-old’s first complete season in the NHL. Since Barabanov was once obtained from the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 21, 2021, he is 5th amongst Sharks skaters in assists (33) and issues (46) in 79 video games. He’s projected for the highest line with Meier and Hertl. If it clicks, Barabanov might be an sudden supply of offense with on the subject of or exceeding 20 aims.

Ready to wreck thru

It seems to be Eklund’s time to turn why he was once the No. 7 select in the 2021 NHL Draft and No. 1 in NHL Central Scouting’s ultimate rating of International skaters. He began closing season with the Sharks and had 4 assists in 9 video games prior to going again to Djurgardens in the Swedish Hockey League, the place he had 14 issues (one function, 13 assists) in 29 video games.

Eklund was once the SHL rookie of the yr in 2020-21, when he had 23 issues (11 aims, 12 assists) in 40 video games in spite of from an emergency appendectomy and a good take a look at for COVID-19. 

Fantasy sleeper 

Eklund, LW (undrafted on reasonable in fable) — Three of Eklund’s assists got here at the energy play prior to he received extra skilled revel in in the SHL. He can be a fable rookie sleeper if he lands in the highest six with a productive heart in both Hertl and Couture and at the first energy play with elite wing Meier and defenseman bounce-back candidate Erik Karlsson and underneath new trainer Quinn. — Pete Jensen

PROJECTED LINEUP

Timo Meier — Tomas Hertl — Alexander Barabanov

Noah Gregor — Logan Couture — Kevin Labanc

Oskar Lindblom — Nico Sturm — Luke Kunin

Matt NietoNick Bonino — Steven Lorentz

Mario Ferraro — Erik Karlsson

Marc-Edouard VlasicRadim Simek

Matt Benning — Markus Nutivaara

James Reimer

Kaapo Kahkonen

Injured: Nikolai Knyzhov (Achilles tendon)

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