We are now 43 games deep into San Jose's campaign. And although he has only played in the most recent 14 contests, I think it's safe to recognize Melker Karlsson as the biggest surprise for the Sharks, this season.
Before we go any further, I say "surprise" with full respect - he was certainly scouted, signed, and promoted for what San Jose's eyes saw in him. But to collect 10 points in your first 14 NHL games... and be promoted to the top line... and get power play time... I'm not sure anyone could have seen that coming.
Currently, Melker is on a 5-game goal streak, which ties him for the rookie franchise record with Jeff Friesen (1994-1995). He scored a beautifully redirected puck recently, but most of his markers on this current stretch have come from crashing the net. He has come across great opportunities on second chances - specifically the rebounds and loose pucks goalies have been leaving on the doorstep. Karlsson has been rewarded by going to what Todd McLellan describes as the "difficult areas" of the ice. McLellan also once beautifully singled Melker out as being a "puck hunter".
I've gone out and proclaimed Karlsson as the "Melkman" on Twitter and social media. And why not? The Melkman keeps getting the cookies! (Get it?)
But some don't like it. That was a nickname already used infamously by Melky Cabrera when he was a member of the San Francisco Giants.
Furthermore - I've never even asked Karlsson if he's cool with being the "Melkman".
So I propose something different.
Do you know what the name Melker means, in his native Sweden?
It translates to: King.
We should help #68 with a nickname along those lines. Because if he continues at this pace, the moniker will be fitting.