Erik Karlsson Traded to the Sharks
The Ottawa Senators traded defenseman Erik Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for center Chris Tierney, defenceman Dylan DeMelo, and forward prospects Josh Norris and Rudolfs Balcers, along with a conditional first-round pick (2019 or 2020) and a second-round pick in 2019. If the Sharks miss the playoffs this season, the first-rounder will be in 2019.
Conditions on the two picks pic.twitter.com/1GqoejxyuX
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) September 13, 2018
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Senators were never going to get full value for Karlsson. The pressure general manager Pierre Dorion was rumored to be under from owner Eugene Melnyk to get a deal done quickly likely left him little choice but to accept the Sharks’ proposal.
Tierney, 24, is a good two-way center who reached a career-high 40 points last season with the Sharks. He should be a good fit as Ottawa’s third-line center. The 25-year-old DeMelo obviously won’t replace Karlsson’s all-star skills. Given the lack of skilled depth on the Senators blueline, he will likely fill a top-four role.
Norris, another two-way center, played for Michigan in the Big 10 and could remain there this season. Balcers tallied 48 points with San Jose’s AHL affiliate last season and is likely headed to the Belleville Senators this season. One of these guys could become a full-time roster player one day for Ottawa but it’s doubtful they’ll blossom into stars.
As for the Sharks, GM Doug Wilson knows his club’s Stanley Cup window of opportunity is closing. Bringing in Karlsson gives the Sharks two former Norris Trophy winners (Brent Burns being the other) plus the always-dependable Marc-Edouard Vlasic patrolling their blueline. Karlsson will help relieve some of the burden from Burns, providing additional offensive punch from the defense.
This move can also be considered Wilson’s answer to the significant offseason moves made by division rivals like the Vegas Golden Knights, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes. It could provide a significant boost to the Sharks’ Stanley Cup hopes for 2018-19, but it remains to be seen if they can afford to keep Karlsson beyond this season.