San Jose Sharks 2021-2022 season recapby Jamie Gatlin June 9, 2022 0 comments
After another disappointing season, the Sharks enter a critical summer. They have not made the postseason since the 2018-2019 season and are still searching for a new GM. Their focus will be on adding young talent for the next playoff team. While change is on the horizon, it should be a busy few months for a franchise looking to return to contention.
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By the Numbers
Power Play: 19 % (22nd)
Penalty Kill: 85.2 % (2nd)
Goals For: 214 (30th)
Goals Against: 264 (21st)
In his sixth NHL season, Timo Meier was the Sharks’ best forward. The 25-year-old led San Jose in points and goals while recording 18 points on the powerplay. He also thrived in clutch situations with eight game-winning goals. While the Sharks’ postseason drought increased to three years, Meier was a bright spot.
Additionally, Meier had a career year across the board. The former first-round pick set a new career-high in goals with 35, assists with 41, and points with 76. After an up and down five seasons, he emerged as a force offensively for a team that struggled to score. With only one year left on his deal, the Swiss native showed why he should be part of the Sharks’ future.
While the Sharks, playoff drought continued the secondary failed to provide a spark. Only three skaters had more than twenty goals and Nick Bonino‘s 16 were the fourth most. As their offense struggled the goaltending had little room for error. They only averaged 2.57 goals per game and were outscored 13-6 in their last three games of the season. If the Sharks hope to return to the postseason in the near future they will need more from their forward group.
Behind The Bench Analysis
Bob Boughner has an uncertain future with the start of the new league year only weeks away. Boughner is a respected coach and has gotten along well with his players. Unfortunately for the 50-year-old, the Sharks have not reached the postseason during his tenure. With Boughner behind the bench, San Jose has posted a 67- 85-23 record.
While the Ontario native dealt with a roster full of injuries at times, he has not shown that he can lead a team to the postseason. The Sharks have also struggled to form an identity under Boughner and now find themselves at a crossroads. The Sharks have plenty of options on a coaching market that now includes Bruce Cassidy if they decide to go in a different direction.
Front Office Analysis
As the Sharks enter the 2022 offseason, they are in an awkward position. They are not close to competing and are still searching for a new general manager. The Sharks will have the opportunity to add more talent in the draft, but no one drafted will be in the lineup on opening night. However, there are a few players they could target on the trade market.
One forward of interest could be Jake DeBrusk as they look to add young talent. The former first-round pick had 42 points last season, including 25 goals. After a forgettable 2020-2021 campaign, he regained his scoring touch and has yet to rescind his trade request from Boston. Other possible trade targets include Jake Muzzin and Alexandre Carrier, who could help a defensive core that needs upgrades.
2022 NHL Entry Draft Picks/Prognosis
With the 11th over pick in the NHL draft, the Sharks will have the opportunity to add an impact player. The 2022 class is full of talent, which benefits the Sharks. Although the draft is still a few weeks away, there will be no shortage of rumors of who the Sharks are interested in.
While the Sharks forward group needs upgrades, the blueline also needs help. San Jose could use their top pick on Ryan Chesley or Pavel Mintyukov. Chesley excels in one-on-one situations, and Mintyukov is one of the better defenders in the 2022 class. It will be interesting to see what route the Sharks take but adding talented defensemen will be a priority.
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