SAN JOSE -- Nearly all of the talk since the Sharks’ 2019 playoff run ended has revolved around the topic of free agency, which makes sense given the big names on San Jose’s roster. But the Sharks don’t have to wait until the market opens on July 1 to make moves. They can get right to it the weekend of June 21st, during the NHL Entry Draft.
The question is whether or not the Sharks will be aggressive in making roster moves over NHL Draft weekend. Like all the other decisions the team has to face this offseason, it isn't readily clear what they might do -- although if one of their big unrestricted free agents moves on from the team, that could prompt San Jose to be more active.
Keep in mind that Team Teal doesn’t have a pick in the first or second round of this year’s draft, resulting from trades they’ve made over the last two years. San Jose's first-round pick went to Buffalo as part of the Evander Kane trade last season, and the Sharks' second-round pick was part of the trade deadline deal for Gustav Nyquist. That doesn’t necessarily mean Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is going to sit back and do nothing, especially with the roster choices the team has to make ahead of next season.
It certainly wouldn't be out of character for the Sharks to make some kind of a move over the weekend of the draft. Remember, two key pieces of San Jose’s current roster were acquired during trades over draft weekend. The Sharks got eventual Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns from the Wild in exchange for Devon Setoguchi during the 2011 draft. More recently, San Jose acquired starting netminder Martin Jones from the Bruins during the 2015 draft, just four days after Jones was traded to Boston by the LA Kings.
Then again, everything the Sharks face this summer is cloaked in a veil of uncertainty. They have many questions to answer, and a long list of free agents, highlighted by none bigger than defenseman Erik Karlsson.
So why might the Sharks look to make a move during this year’s draft? While San Jose remained confident down the stretch that they had the roster to get them to a Stanley Cup Final, there are a couple of areas the team could try beefing up this summer. If it's looking like Karlsson will sign elsewhere, the Sharks might look to address the defense before the market opens up.
It still isn't clear how things are going to shake out for the Sharks this offseason. With the draft just a little over two weeks away and the opportunity to make some moves on the horizon, we may finally get a little clarity.