SAN JOSE (AP) — The San Jose Sharks ended the NHL draft with one of the biggest needs they had entering the weekend: finding a starting goaltender.
Instead of acquiring one of the several goalies who changed teams this weekend, the Sharks instead traded the negotiating rights to their former starter Antti Niemi to Dallas for a seventh-round pick Saturday.
Niemi was set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and was not expected to re-sign with San Jose. He had been the starter the past five seasons in San Jose but is coming off his worst season as a Shark in terms of goals against. Niemi was 31-23-7 last season with a 2.59 goals against average and .914 save percentage as San Jose’s 10-year playoff run ended.
Among the other goalies dealt over the weekend were Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers, Los Angeles’ Martin Jones, Vancouver’s Eddie Lack, Ottawa’s Robin Lehner, Carolina’s Anton Khudobin and Chicago backup Antti Raanta.
The Sharks will now turn their attention to other goalies on the trade and free-agent market to add to a group that features Alex Stalock and Troy Grosenick.
“There are several goalies still out there that are potentially available,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “We’ll address the goaltending situations. I have no concerns about that.
Stalock struggled in intermittent playing time last year with an 8-9-2 record and 2.62 goals against average. He showed promise the previous year with a 1.87 goals against average in 24 appearances.
Grosenick had a shutout in one of his two appearances last season but spent most of the year in the minors or recovering from a concussion. He signed a two-year contract Saturday instead of becoming a restricted free agent.
The Sharks also signed potential restricted free agent forward Melker Karlsson to a two-year deal. Karlsson had 13 goals and 11 assists in 53 games last season when he was picked as the team’s top rookie.
San Jose also reached one-year deals with defenseman Karl Stollery, forward Jeremy Langlois, and forward Peter Emanuelsson.
After taking right wing Timo Meier of Halifax in the first-round on Friday, the Sharks traded up for the first pick in the second round Saturday to draft defenseman Jeremy Roy of Sherbrooke from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
The Sharks dealt Colorado’s 2016 second-round pick and 2017 sixth-rounder back to the Avalanche to move up eight sports for a player they viewed as a first-round prospect. San Jose had acquired those picks last year in a deal for defenseman Brad Stuart.
Roy is viewed as a two-way defender and led all Sherbrooke defensemen with 43 points in 46 games this season.
“We were trying to figure out ways all day yesterday to try to move up to get him,” Wilson said. “He was one of the top defensemen in this draft class. This is a guy we wanted badly. I had no problem paying full value or even overpaying to get someone we really wanted. There’s no chance he would have fallen to 39.”
The Sharks then drafted goalie Mike Robinson with a third-round pick acquired from Edmonton as compensation for coach Todd McLellan. San Jose’s other picks were forward Adam Helewka in the fourth round, Latvian defenseman Karlis Cukste and Latvian forward Rudolfs Balcers in the fifth round; defenseman Adam Parcells in the sixth; and center Marcus Vela and goalie John Kupsky in the seventh round.
San Jose also acquired defenseman Patrick McNally from Vancouver for a seventh-round pick acquired at the trade deadline from the New York Islanders for Tyler Kennedy.