5. Vladislav Namestnikov, C/LW/RW
Vladislav Namestnikov is probably the most well-known, biggest name on this list after having a very successful start to his career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring over 40 points in each of his last two seasons with the team.
However, being a former first-round pick in 2011, he was expected to get better — but he hasn’t.
Since being traded to the New York Rangers in 2018, Namestnikov has had a difficult time replicating his success in Tampa, with the most points he’s scored since at just 31.
He’s also been traded two more times, from the Rangers to the Ottawa Senators, and from the Sens to the Colorado Avalanche.
While on the Bolts, Namestnikov was on the team’s top line, acting a defensively-responsible center for an overall line that cared mostly about scoring goals.
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Since being traded, however, his ice-time has dropped from top-line minutes of 17 minutes per game to bottom-nine minutes of 15 minutes per game.
Over his seven-year NHL career, Namestnikov has scored over 180 points in over 420 games. This season between playing for the Rangers, Sens, and Avs, Namestnikov played in 65 games, scored 31 points (17 goals, 14 assists), averaged 15:03 of ice-time, and had a subpar FO% of 46.8.
Although he was never much of a goal-scorer previously in his career, things just seemed to click while he was on the Sens, as he scored 13 goals in 54 games — including an league-leading four short-handed goals.
At 27 years old, Namestnikov is an overpriced bottom-six forward with a $4 million cap hit. I can see him getting around this much again because if you surround him with the right players he can score, create goals, and play defense.
With the Sharks, I can see Namestnikov playing on any of their four lines because he can fill several roles.
Overall, I think any of these five guys would be a good fit for the Sharks. They’re all mainly short-term options, but why would you sign a bottom-six forward to a long-term deal?
They’re usually easily replaceable. And with the right coaching, anyone can kill penalties.