San Jose Sharks: Listing the likeliest trade candidates at the deadline

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San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

As the playoffs will not happen for the San Jose Sharks, stocking up on draft picks and mid-level prospects may benefit for next season as a couple of current players could end up in different sweaters.

A 6-2 defeat at home for the San Jose Sharks against the Calgary Flames exemplified the inconsistencies by the team throughout the year.

Last week, the Sharks quickly took care of the Flames in their building and followed up the success with an impressive comeback victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

Hockey is a 60-minute game and the Sharks chose not to play in the opening 10 minutes, falling behind, 3-0, against the Flames.

Aaron Dell stood firm, but his teammates left him out to dry, expecting he would make all the saves. The Sharks tried to rally, but a highlight-reel goal by Matthew Tkachuk ended any dramatics.

Bob Boughner is unlikely to return next season as head coach. Only some improvements got done, such as playing better defense, but since the firing of Peter DeBoer, San Jose remains out of the playoff picture. A new face must be brought in during the offseason.

With the NHL trade deadline weeks away, Doug Wilson must explore all avenues for the sake of a better 2020-21 outlook. San Jose is without a first-round pick in the upcoming draft after the Erik Karlsson trade from last year.

San Jose ranks near the bottom with the current crop of prospects. After the Karlsson extension, Wilson iterated young players getting the opportunity to play for the Sharks out of training camp.

Unfortunately, every player who got called up from the San Jose Barracuda has not made a consistent impact on remaining in the big leagues.

The sad truth is the players on the Barracuda will likely be AHL players for the rest of their careers. Their development appears to plateau once reaching the Barracuda and the progress comes to a halt.

Ryan Merkley is the only candidate in line to crack the Sharks’ defensive pairings in about a year after another season in the minors. All others are just a crapshoot at this juncture. With DeBoer, he knew the farm system with the players ready for NHL action.

Under DeBoer, Boughner at least gave new guys between 6-8 minutes of ice time per game. Some players took advantage and got rewarded more time.

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Others quickly got sent down to the Barracuda. The big problem was those who got rewarded failed to stay coherent and become non-existent in the lineup.

Depth players are the most significant need for the Sharks moving forward. For longevity purposes, building up the farm system is vital to keep the window of opportunity open for the Sharks to stay relevant to making the playoffs yearly.

Here are a couple of names that may end up with different clubs before or after the deadline.

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