Erik Karlsson will return to the Sharks.

The team announced Monday they have re-signed the star defenseman to an eight-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Karlsson sent a message to Sharks fans to thank them and show how excited he is to stay in San Jose after signing his contract. 

"We are extremely pleased that Erik and his wife Melinda have committed to the San Jose Sharks and that they have done so prior to July 1," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a team statement. "Players with Erik's elite level of talent are rare and when they become available, it's important to be aggressive in pursuing them. He is a difference maker who consistently makes the players around him better.

 

"We are pleased that he has been proactive in addressing his injury from last season and are looking forward to him being part of our organization for a long time to come."

Karlsson also expressed his excitement and is already looking forward to another run at the Stanley Cup. 

"I'm super excited to continue my journey with the Sharks," Karlsson said. "Since my first day here, I have only good things to say about the people, organization and the fans. The entire Bay Area has been extremely welcoming to me and my family. I appreciate that and we can't wait to spend the next eight years in San Jose.

"As far as hockey goes, I'm excited to continue the chase for the ultimate prize: the Stanley Cup. Last year was an unbelievable run but we didn't achieve what we set out to do. But the dedication I witnessed from my teammates, coaches, staff and organization showed me that we all have a great future ahead of us, and that we are capable of fighting for that championship year in and year out."

According to CapFriendly, Karlsson's contract is worth $92M over the eight years.

Before Monday's announcement, there had been plenty of recent speculation about Karlsson's future. He had dinner with Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Wednesday night in Santa Clara, The Athletic's Kevin Kurz reported. A Facebook user in a Sharks fan group posted a picture with Karlsson and Wilson from the restaurant, and it later surfaced on the Sharks' fan-run subreddit, leading to speculation that an agreement could be close.

Karlsson had until 8:59 p.m. PT on June 30 to sign an eight-year contract with the Sharks, or he’d enter free agency July 1 able to receive a maximum seven-year deal.

The Sharks first acquired Karlsson in a blockbuster trade with the Senators on the eve of training camp last season. Ottawa will receive a 2021 second-round draft pick as a condition of him re-signing with San Jose.

 

Karlsson struggled with injuries during his first season with the Sharks, but he still managed to post 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 regular-season games. He recorded 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 playoff games, which ranked second on San Jose.

Karlsson didn't play in the Sharks' season-ending loss in Game 6 of the Western Conference final to the eventual Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues after aggravating his groin in Game 4 and playing just 10:32 in Game 5.

When Karlsson did play, the Sharks went 30-23 in regular-season games and 10-9 in the playoffs.

The Sharks announced last week that Karlsson underwent successful groin surgery, and the defenseman was seen on crutches while attending Game 3 of the NBA Finals that same day. 

The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun was first to report the news Monday of Karlsson staying in San Jose on an eight-year deal. TSN's Bob McKenzie reported Monday morning that "all signs are pointing" to Karlsson re-signing with the Sharks.