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Karlsson trade has Sharks thinking Stanley Cup

Defenseman acquired from Senators, Pavelski says 'it's a statement'

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Erik Karlsson being acquired by the San Jose Sharks on Thursday sent a clear message to the rest of the team. 

"This is the year," forward Evander Kane said. "That has to be our mindset. You bring in a player like that, you look around the room, the type of players we have, our younger players getting better, bringing in a guy like Erik Karlsson, who's a (two-time) Norris Trophy winner, having another Norris Trophy winner in Brent Burns in the back end, there's really no excuses.

"It's up to us to put it all together, put it on the ice, have a good season and, like I said, having that focus on not being satisfied with making the [Stanley Cup Playoffs] or going deep in the playoffs, but winning the Stanley Cup."


[RELATED: Erik Karlsson career timeline | Fantasy spin: Karlsson trade to Sharks]


The Sharks acquired Karlsson and forward prospect Francis Perron in a trade with the Ottawa Senators for forwards Chris Tierney and Rudolfs Balcers, defenseman Dylan DeMelo, unsigned forward Joshua Norris, a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft or 2020 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, and two conditional draft picks. 

Karlsson had 62 points (nine goals, 53 assists) in 71 games last season. The 28-year-old defenseman led Ottawa in scoring in each of the past five seasons and has 518 points (126 goals, 392 assists) in 627 NHL games.

Video: Pavelski talks to media about acquiring Karlsson

"Getting the player we got today is just awesome," Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. "It's a statement I think. We're a team that's right there, and I think he gives us for sure that extra credibility and that extra something that can win games at times."

Karlsson won the Norris Trophy in 2012 and 2015 and has been named an NHL First Team All-Star four times (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017).

"It's crazy. It's exciting," said Burns, who won the Norris Trophy in 2017. "Being traded, you know how hard it is for everybody involved. It's a tough part of the business when you see guys go. Obviously, it's always exciting when you get guys coming here. A guy like Erik, it's incredible. He's a huge, huge talent. It just gets everybody fired up about getting started."

Video: Burns talks to media about the Karlsson acquisition

Pavelski said Karlsson will make the Sharks a faster team.

"We only get to see him twice a year, but the thing that jumps out right away is just his skating ability," Pavelski said. "He's just fast. He can get up in the play. He can get up and be the fourth man. He can lead rushes, he can get back, he's great with the puck, good shot, good vision."

Forward Joonas Donskoi said, "He's one of the best defensemen in the world, so we are happy to have him on the team, and I think he can really make our team stronger."

Although Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said Karlsson will definitely be part of San Jose's power play, he said he has yet to decide with whom he'll be paired. Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic are two options.

"We're going to get him in here," DeBoer said. "I don't know what the timeframe is on that because of his immigration and things like that, but we'll get him in here and then we'll start to look at some of those things."

Video: DeBoer speaks about the Erik Karlsson acquisition

Karlsson has one season remaining on a seven-year, $45.5 million contract he signed with Ottawa on June 19, 2012, and the Sharks hope to sign him to an extension before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2019. Kane already started lobbying for him to re-sign.

"I texted him right after the trade happened and just told him he's going to love it here," said Kane, who was acquired by San Jose in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 26 and signed a seven-year contract extension May 24. "The boys are really excited to get him here and see him on the ice.

"I think he's going to quickly realize what a special organization this is, how passionate our hockey fans are here in San Jose, what a great place it is to play and good team to play for. Kind of just like I experienced last year. I'm sure things will go smoothly in that regard, and we hope to have him here for a long time."

Video: Kane talks to media about the Karlsson acquisition

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