With the Sharks season coming to an abrupt and much earlier-than-anticipated end, the focus on the offseason has the rumor mill already churning in Northern California.
With the obvious defensive and depth issues looming ahead, general manager Doug Wilson faces a daunting task of filling those needs while balancing a very top-heavy roster. If Kent Huskins and Niclas Wallin are allowed to leave as expected, free agency is a very likely avenue to address those voids on the blue line.
Trade options could certainly change the complexion of the San Jose Sharks roster, but in this write-up we rank the possible UFA defensemen from two different outlooks.
From puck-moving defensemen as well as shutdown defenders, all UFA defenders are ranked by cap hit and how well they fit into what the Sharks need. Puck-moving defensemen are ranked using Gabriel Desjardins' Corsi ratings, specifically "Corsi Relative to Quality of Competition" (Corsi Rel QoC), providing a glimpse at how well they keep the play moving against quality of competition.
All defensive blueliners are ranked from their defensive zone starts and on-ice/off-ice plus-minus ratings as well as time on ice per 60 minutes (TOI/60). For the sake of brevity, I have excluded defensive numbers for free agents that do not qualify for top-four minutes.
All statistics are gleaned from behindthenet.ca and all salary cap hit figures come directly from capgeek.com.