3. Address the San Jose Sharks’ forward depth
In the first of an eight-year contract, Erik Karlsson did not live up to expectations. An unfortunate thumb injury ended his year but further heightened his status of being injury prone.
His extension put a restraint on the money with the salary cap meaning younger players would need to step up from the farm system.
At first, losing Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi did not appear to be terrible as Karlsson would hopefully fill the offensive void with his playmaking skills.
For a player in the prime of his career, the task should not be difficult to handle or live up to the expectations of being a big-time performer.
Almost immediately, the question of forward depth became front and center for the Sharks after the opening games against the Knights. A lack of quality forwards and zero cohesion throughout the season spelled doom for the sharks.
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Amongst the bright spots, Joel Kellman and Alexander True showed the potential of playing on the bottom-six lines for next season. Stefan Noesen is a no brainer in re-signing this offseason after getting claimed off waivers and bringing a hard-nosed style of play to the Sharks.
Wilson did manage to pick up a first-round pick in the upcoming draft from the Tampa Bay Lightning. Unfortunately, San Jose’s original pick belongs to Ottawa after the Karlsson trade.
To make matters worse, the Senators could potentially get the first overall selection with the Sharks finishing in last place.
Options are available for Wilson in fixing the roster. No matter free agency or selecting players in the draft, Wilson must find immediate fixes to the current team.
The move to have young players on the Barracuda play more substantial minutes on the top lines is a significant risk for development purposes but could pay dividends.
Uncertainty surrounds the current state of the Sharks after missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Wilson can pull off blockbusters from the past, but this could be one offseason in which one move could ultimately see him out the door.