Senators Trade Star Defenseman Erik Karlsson To Sharks
The San Jose Sharks acquire two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
In what has been a turbulent stretch for the Senators, the team trades 28-year-old star Swedish defenceman Karlsson and prospect forward Francis Perron to the Sharks.
San Jose dealt forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, and prospect forward Josh Norris.
The deal also includes the Shark’s first-round pick in 2020, a second-round pick in 2019 and a conditional second-round pick in 2021.
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“It’s extremely rare that players of this caliber become available,” said General Manager Doug Wilson. “The word ‘elite’ is often thrown around casually, but Erik’s skill set and abilities fit that description like few other players in today’s game. With Erik, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic, we feel we have three of the N.H.L.’s top defensemen and stand as a better team today than we were yesterday.”
On Friday, the star defenseman sent a message of gratitude to the city of Ottawa via Twitter.
Thank you Ottawa for making this my home. All my love to the fans, community and former teammates. You will be dearly missed. On to the next chapter now. Shark nation I’m coming for you. ?
— Erik Karlsson (@ErikKarlsson65) September 14, 2018
Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion said: “This is the right moment for us to rebuild our team, and shape our future with a faster, younger and more competitive team on the ice. We are going to build a culture of consistency which will allow this team to sustain better performance over the long term.”
“Erik is an exceptional hockey player whose skills delighted our fans for the past nine years,” Dorion said in a statement. “We thank him for his dedication to hockey, and we wish him all the best.”
After missing out on the high-scoring center John Tavares in free agency to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Sharks get the difference-maker that it was hoping in Karisson.
His .518 points are by far the most of any defenseman since he entered the N.H.L. in 2009.
Last season put up 62 points (nine goals) and 53 assists. He also led the team in average ice time (26 minutes 44 seconds, third in the N.H.L.), and was second in blocked shots (120) and takeaways (55).
Karlsson also has six goals and 31 assists in 48 career playoff games.
“I wish we were standing here in different circumstances. It’s an emotional and sad day,” said Karlsson in an emotional news conference. “I don’t think that I’ve ever in my wildest imagination thought that I would ever leave this place. But, unfortunately, we’re here under these circumstances and, again, that’s not something I’m going to go into detail about.
“I was prepared to come here and work hard for this team. I still have a year left on my deal but unfortunately I couldn’t follow that through.”
As Karlsson makes the transition to San Jose he joins one of the top defensive groups in the league alongside the 2017 Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns and the shutdown defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
He’ll get a chance to face his former team on December 1 in Ottawa at 1 p.m. EST.
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