Erik Karlsson's acquisition by the Sharks has come with plenty of second-guessing and consternation.
One of the NHL’s top defenders, San Jose traded for Karlsson in a 2018 deal with the Ottawa Senators that included a 2020 first-round pick. Karlsson missed significant time in his first season in San Jose after suffering a groin injury, and had his 2019-20 campaign cut short by a broken thumb in February.
In speaking to reporters on Friday, general manager Doug Wilson said the Sharks’ core players are healthy as the offseason begins, including Karlsson. In fact, Wilson said this might be the first time Karlsson has been fully healthy since joining the organization in September of 2018.
San Jose struggled in the abbreviated 2019-20 NHL season, finishing in last place in the Pacific Division and missing out on being one of the 24 teams chosen for the playoff bubble this summer.
Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner, and at 30 years old, is far from an aging star in the NHL. If the Sharks can retain their top talent and make some strong moves, this was a roster just a few wins away from advancing to the Stanley Cup Final last season.
It’s time for the defenseman to prove that he was worth the haul of players and draft picks San Jose parted with to acquire Karlsson.