A few days after one Canadien was traded out west, the Ottawa Senators dealt Erik Karlsson to the San Jose Sharks for a bundle of players, prospects, and draft picks in 2019 and beyond.
As outlined by Bruce Garrioch, the Senators receive two OK starters from the Sharks in forward Chris Tierney and defenseman Dylan DeMelo who have made short stints with the team. The Senators receive a 1st-round and 2nd-round pick in 2020 & 2019, respectively, as well as two conditional picks in 2019.
Karlsson played with the Senators for nine years and was drafted fifteenth overall as a nineteen-year-old in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He has turned into one of the National Hockey League’s premier defensemen and is not only known for his defensive capabilities, but also a force on offense, particularly on the power-play.
In 627 games with the Senators, he totaled 518 points (126 G, 392 A) with a -37 rating and an average time on ice of 25:58.
Karlsson will most likely be paired up with top defenseman Brent Burns who, like Karlsson, is one of the top defensemen in the league in terms of defensive and offensive play. He is a big-bodied player who can overwhelm opponents with his physicality and he will pair up nice with Karlsson on that top line. The real killer for opponents will be when they are on the penalty-kill as Karlsson and Burns could pair up with each other on the top power-play unit, making that unit one of the deadliest in the league.
For the Senators, they will be in full rebuild mode as they lose one of their top players and gain Chris Tierney and Dylan DeMelo with prospects and draft picks. I don’t expect much from the Sens this season as they look to build for the future.
The Sharks, who are notorious for being great during the regular season and coming up short in the playoffs, are now a legitimate Stanley Cup contender. Hopefully, for them, the addition of Karlsson can get them over the hump.
The NHL season is almost upon us and as teams report to camp, there will be familiar faces in new places. Karlsson fits into that category and he will hope to bring San Jose a Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history.