San Jose's Goaltending Situation Less Cloudy with Upstarts Between the Pipes

Todd Civin@ Writer IAugust 13, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Goaltender Thomas Greiss #1 of the San Jose Sharks during the preseason NHL game against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on September 24, 2008 in Anaheim, California. The Ducks defeated the Sharks 6-4.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the team has re-signed Group II restricted free agent goaltender Thomas Greiss to a two-year contract.

The team also announced the signing of Group III unrestricted free agent goaltender Henrik Karlsson to a one-year contract. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Greiss, 23, appeared in 57 games for the Worcester Sharks (AHL) during the 2008-09 regular season. He posted club records for wins (30-24-2 record) and goals-against average (2.47) along with a .907 save percentage and one shutout.  He also set a Worcester franchise record, making 16 straight starts (1.90 goals-against average).

“After a tremendous season in Worcester and an outstanding playoffs, we are excited to have Thomas under contract for the next two seasons,” said Wilson.  “His development towards becoming an NHL goaltender has continued to progress."

"We were very impressed with the work ethic and dedication he has put forth and the results have shown in his play.”

He helped Worcester advance to the AHL Atlantic Division Finals, posting a 6-6 record, a 2.43 goals-against average, and a .912 save percentage.  He also had two shutouts, tied for second-most in the AHL Playoffs.

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Greiss has played in three NHL games with San Jose, all in 2007-08, posting a 0-1-1 record with a 3.26 goals-against average and a .860 save percentage.

Greiss is a veteran of international play as well, representing Germany at several tournaments, including the 2006 Olympics, where he was the youngest participant in the tournament. 

He also helped backstop Team Germany at the 2003-04 U-18 World Junior Championships B-pool tournament, which earned the team a berth in the U-18 World Junior Championships A tournament, and the 2004-05 U-20 World Championships.

The 6'1", 210-pound goaltender was selected by the Sharks in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (third round, 94th overall).

Karlsson, 25, spent most of last season in Malmo of Allsvenskan in Sweden, where he posted a 2.45 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 32 games.  In eight playoff games, he notched a 1.99 goals-against average and a .930 save percentage. 

Additionally, in seven games with Sodertalje of the Swedish Elite League, he had a 2.49 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.

"We are very excited to have Henrik join our organization and look forward to his continued development,” said Wilson.

The 6'6", 215-pound netminder is a native of Stockholm, Sweden.