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Sharks Deal Before Expansion Draft Roster Freeze

Sharks Deal Before Expansion Draft Roster Freeze

As we await the protection lists for all 30 NHL teams for the expansion draft we saw a flurry of activity around the league.  San Jose was no different as we saw 2013 first round pick, Mirco Mueller traded away and a trio of players resigned. The moves don’t have a significant impact on their protection list they are all notable in different ways.

Mirco Mueller Traded

Mirco Mueller’s his brief tenure in San Jose come to an end.  Mueller 22, was traded to the New Jersey Devils along with a fifth round pick in exchange for the Devils second and fourth round picks in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Mueller was drafted in the first round of the 2013 entry draft 18th overall.  He came in with high expectations and ultimately those expectations likely helped his demise. Mueller would play 54 NHL games over his three-year career the majority of which (39) in his rookie season. In his rookie year, he was paired up with Brent Burns which at the time was a very difficult assignment for a rookie defender. When he looked lost all the Sharks could do was place him in the press box as he was not eligible for play with the then Worcester Sharks in the AHL. His Junior team the Everett Silvertips also had no room for his return because of limited import player spots.

The rush to the NHL would cost him his confidence, something that he would never fully regain. Mueller was the middle pair defenceman for the Barracuda with Joakim Ryan and Tim Heed moving ahead of him on the depth chart. Still, Mueller did find his way to the NHL lineup for four games this past season but got a much shorter audition than expected. While I think it is too soon to call Mueller a bust there was a serious risk at this point in his career. New Jersey has a reputation for developing defense and the change of scenery could change the trajectory of Mueller’s career.

My opinion of Mueller has been up and down like his career. I really soured on him in the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs, especially against the Heat and Griffins. I felt he was easily forced into making bad decisions while under the heavy forecheck of both teams. You can also read friend of the blog, Zakk Devine‘s take on Mueller’s development over at Dobber Prospects.

Ryan Carpenter Re-Signed

The Sharks have re-signed Ryan Carpenter to a two-year, two-way deal.  The financial terms have yet to be disclosed. Carpenter was one of the most consistent players for the San Jose Barracuda this season and a force in the playoffs. Carpenter lead the team in scoring with 9 goals and 8 assists in 15 games before the Barracuda would bow out to the eventual champion Grand Rapids Griffins. Carpenter also suited up for the Sharks on 11 occasions scoring 2 goals and 2 assists and looking ready to take a full-time role with the team. Re-signing Carpenter signals to me that he will be a threat to make the team out of camp this season. Carpenter should have good odds of making the team out of camp if one of Patrick Marleau or Joe Thronton should not return opening roster spots. Carpenter has no waiver eligibility this year so seeing how he is managed is going to be interesting.

Joakim Ryan Re-Signed

Of all the Restricted Free Agents that Doug Wilson had to sign to a deal, this was near the top of the list for expected deals. Joakim Ryan has been the backbone of the San Jose Barracuda defense for the last two years. An excellent puck-moving defenceman who can play in all three zones is the best and most complete defensive prospect in the Sharks system. The only issue with Ryan is his size, he compensates for this with decent skating and excellent stick work. The Sharks will give him a chance to take an opening day roster spot but it’s going to be tough to break through. If the Sharks don’t lose a defender in the expansion draft he may be blocked on a path to escape the Barracuda who will have a defenceman logjam of their own. He will also have to compete with partner Tim Heed for a spot.  Ryan whose deal also extends the next two years is also waiver eligible which could also work to his disadvantage. Last season Ryan scored 10 goals and 39 assists as well as an additional 4 goals and 7 assists in 15 playoff games.

Tim Heed Re-Signed

The Sharks also extended defenseman Tim Heed. Heed, 26 was a major contributor for the Barracuda scoring 14 goals and 42 assists in 55 games. He was the quarterback of the Barracuda Powerplay and 5 on 5. His shot and play should definitely translate to the NHL level and his lack of waiver eligibility will make him an interesting player to watch in training camp.  If a defender is not taken in the expansion draft, will a trade be made to open room for him on the main roster?  This will be a very intriguing offseason for the Sharks indeed. The former fifth-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks has a strong fanbase among Barracuda fans and Teal Town USA as well.

Chris Tierney Questions

Absent from today’s news was anything in regards to center Chris Tierney.  Tierney 22, the Sharks fourth line center is a pending restricted free agent and remains conspicuously unsigned going into the expansion draft freeze.  Now, this could be nothing to worry about especially if the Sharks protected him.  But if they have not he could definitely make Vegas take a serious look at him. Most feel that the odds are the Sharks will lose a defender in the expansion draft and today’s signings tell me the front office feels the same.  As Tierney is a restricted free agent though he would meet the 40/70 requirement for exposure allowing them to protect an additional forward like Hansen, Ward or Boedker. It will be interesting to watch. The protection lists will be officially out tomorrow while some have already been leaked. Stay Tuned.


Some conflicting information right now, Kevin Kurz and John Hoven have confirmed the NHL money for their deals is $650,000, with Heed making $300,000, Ryan $250,000 and Carpenter $200,000 in the AHL.  Cap Friendly, however, has it unconfirmed at the same salary in both leagues.  Being a two-way deal would allow it to be under league minimum.




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