Sharks

Sharks re-sign forwards Karlsson, Donskoi

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ap

Sharks re-sign forwards Karlsson, Donskoi

The Sharks re-signed forwards Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi, the team announced on Friday.

Karlsson's deal is for three years and Donskoi's contract is for two years.

"Melker plays an up-tempo, high-energy game and brings flexibility to our lineup wherever he plays," GM Doug Wilson said in a statement. "His tenacious style of play fits our team perfectly, and we feel confident using him in many different situations. He kills penalties, can play with high-end players and brings an honest effort night in and night out. We're excited he has made this commitment to the organization."

Karlsson, 26, recorded 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists), 73 shots on goal and set career highs in both plus/minus (+7) and penalty minutes (22) in a career-best 67 games played with the Sharks in 2016-17. He finished ranked T-5th on the team in goals, T-6th in plus/minus, T-1st in shorthanded goals (2) and 3rd amongst Sharks forwards in blocked shots (59). He skated the third-most shorthanded minutes per game amongst all Sharks forwards (1:34).

The forward has collected 65 points (34 goals, 31 assists) and a plus-9 rating in 185 career NHL games with San Jose. He was named the "Sharks Rookie of the Year" in 2014-15, after finishing ranked 7th amongst all NHL rookies in goals and T-15th in points. Karlsson tied a franchise-best goal scoring streak for rookies, tallying a goal in five consecutive contests. He has also added nine points (six goals, three assists) in 30 career NHL playoff games.

"Joonas plays a solid two-way game, combining his skill and creativity with an aggressive, hard-working effort in all three zones," Wilson said. "He plays the game the way we want to play as a team, and we feel he has only scratched the surface of his abilities. He battled through multiple injuries last season and we look forward to having him healthy at training camp this season."

Donskoi, 25, recorded 17 points (six goals, 11 assists), and 10 penalty minutes in 61 games with San Jose in 2016-17, his second season in the NHL. The forward ranked 4th on San Jose in power-play points (4) and his plus-83 shot attempt differential ranked 8th on the Sharks.

In 137 career NHL games, Donskoi has tallied 53 points (17 goals, 36 assists) and 202 shots on goal. He was named the "Sharks Rookie of the Year" in 2015-16, and posted 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 24 playoff games that season with San Jose. Donskoi became just the sixth rookie in NHL history to score an overtime, game-winning goal in the Stanley Cup Final when he scored in Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh. That goal also marked the first game-winning goal in Sharks franchise history in the Stanley Cup Final.

San Jose Sharks media services contributed to this story

 

Sharks winger Joonas Donskoi has officially arrived

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AP

Sharks winger Joonas Donskoi has officially arrived

It turns out the top-six winger the Sharks needed to replace Patrick Marleau was on the roster all along.

Joonas Donskoi skated on Logan Couture’s line in Monday night’s shootout loss to the Ducks, and was San Jose’s best player. He scored the Sharks’ only two goals, and tied for the team-lead among forwards with four shots on net.

Donskoi added another goal in the ninth-round shootout, but his two goals in regulation were his sixth and seventh on the season. With those goals, he surpassed his total from an injury-riddled campaign a year ago, and stands three tallies clear as San Jose’s second-leading goal-scorer this season.

Due to Melker Karlsson’s injury, Donskoi skated with the Sharks’ leading goal-scorer, Logan Couture, and rekindled the strong chemistry the pair has shown since the Finnish winger arrived in San Jose in 2015.

Of the nine lines Couture has skated on for at least 50 minutes dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the three best in terms of puck possession have had Donskoi on his wing. Those three combinations have controlled at least 54 percent of the five-on-five shot attempts, according to Corsica Hockey.

Adding Tomas Hertl, who’s already a strong possession player, to that line bodes well for an even stronger second line moving forward. With Karlsson on the wing, the line controlled only 47.7 percent of the shot attempts, per Corsica, meaning the Sharks have been routinely out-possessed with them on the ice.

That was not the case with Donskoi in Karlsson’s place, as Donskoi posted positive possession numbers alongside Couture and Hertl on Monday, according to Natural Stat Trick. The results were there, as evidenced by the game’s opening goal, but it’s a good sign that the process was, too.

The same, frankly, can be said of Donskoi’s entire season up to this point. He likely won’t convert on over 18 percent of his shots all season, of course, but the Sharks have the puck more often than their opponents when he’s on the ice, and should continue to generate pressure, chances, and ultimately goals, even if Donskoi’s personal scoring comes down.

When Karlsson comes back, Donskoi should remain on Couture and Hertl’s line. That would allow the former to slide into a role better-suited to his game, and the latter to bolster San Jose’s top-six forward group.

Donskoi’s earned an extended look in that spot thanks to his resurgence, and subsequent emergence, this season. Thanks to him, replacing Marleau’s production suddenly seems much less daunting.

Two Donskoi goals not enough as Sharks fall to Ducks in shootout

Two Donskoi goals not enough as Sharks fall to Ducks in shootout

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Antoine Vermette beat goalie Martin Jones in the ninth round of a shootout to give the Anaheim Ducks a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

Corey Perry, Cam Fowler and Brandon Montour also scored during the tiebreaker for Anaheim.

Joonas Donskoi, Tim Heed and Brent Burns had shootout goals for the Sharks. Tomas Hertl missed his attempt in the ninth round, leaving Vermette a chance to win it.

Perry and Rickard Rakell scored in regulation for the Ducks. Reto Berra made 40 saves in his first start of the season.

Donskoi had two goals for the Sharks, including the tying score in the third period. Jones stopped 28 shots.

Donskoi helped create his own goal by knocking the puck away from a Ducks defender and getting it to Logan Couture for a give-and-go as the Sharks took a 1-0 lead 3:31 into the game.

The Ducks came back in the second period to even the score 45 seconds in. After winning a faceoff in the San Jose zone, Brandon Montour sent a sharp pass to Perry's stick. Perry settled it and fired into the net for the equalizer.

Rakell gave the Ducks a 2-1 advantage midway through the second, just as a power play ended. Perry took a shot that bounced off Jones' pads, and Rakell knocked it into the net before Jones could cover up.

The Sharks snapped an 0-for-17 streak on the power play with a goal midway through the third to tie it. Donskoi tracked down a rebound and flipped it off Berra's right pad and into the net for his second career multi-goal game.

NOTES: Ducks D Cam Fowler returned to action after missing 12 games with a knee injury. ... Sharks C Melker Karlsson missed the game with an upper-body injury. ... Sharks forward Kevin Labanc, who hasn't played much recently, started on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Donskoi was moved to the second line. ... Ducks G Ryan Miller missed the game with a lower-body injury. Berra made his fourth appearance this season. ... Perry has seven points in his last five games. ... Rakell has a point in seven of his past eight games, with a total of 11 during that span. ... The Sharks scored their second power-play goal in eight November games.

UP NEXT

Ducks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Sharks: Play at the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday.