Sharks

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Sharks

Outside of Joe Thornton, no current Sharks player continuously has been with the franchise longer than Marc-Edouard Vlasic. 

The 32-year-old defenseman has spent his entire career in San Jose, and now is one of the team's elder statesmen. When he arrived on the NHL scene, however, he was on the complete opposite end of that spectrum.

After being drafted by the Sharks in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft, Vlasic made the jump straight from the QMJHL in Canadian major junior hockey to the big club, and was thrown right into the fire as a 19-year-old. 

He was the youngest player on the team, and the Sharks' eldest player at the time -- Bill Guerin, 36 -- nearly was twice his age. But according to fellow defenseman Scott Hannan -- who was paired with the teenager on San Jose's blue line -- Vlasic's youth wasn't a detriment to himself, nor his team.

"Being Vlasic's first [defensive] partner in the NHL, I was able to get a first-hand look at the type of player he was and the type of player he was going to be," Hannan told NBC Sports California. "And you could see right from the start that he was a solid, well-rounded player. You only really had to tell him things once and he got it right away. We were paired against other team's top lines a lot during that year, and he held his own and even excelled in those situations."

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Hannan departed the Sharks the following offseason and spent most of the next six seasons elsewhere before returning to San Jose during the 2012-13 season. While not necessarily paired together upon Hannan's return, Vlasic and Hannan would go on to spend two more full seasons as teammates before Hannan retired following the 2014-15 campaign.

Vlasic was just entering his prime at the time, and Hannan has kept a close eye while watching Vlasic fulfill his vast potential.

"Defensive defensemen don't often get the accolades," Hannan explained. "With him playing on Team Canada, the Olympics, winning gold medals ... over the whole stretch of his career being able to maintain that high level of consistency, it just shows you to his abilities and what kind of player he is and how special he is to the San Jose Sharks."

Given that Vlasic has a full no-movement clause in his contract through the 2022-23 season and a modified no-trade clause for the three seasons after that, he can be special to the Sharks for quite a bit longer.