SAN JOSE, Calif. — In the midst of a personal resurgence, San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is most interested in winning the Stanley Cup.
The 32-year-old is on pace for 111 points this season, a mark that would shatter his previous career high of 82 set back in 2015-16. The two-time Norris Trophy winner is locked into a contract that carries a salary cap hit of $11.5-million through 2026-27.
With the Sharks not exactly on the upswing, there’s been talk that San Jose might look to move Karlsson, who has a say in destination thanks to a full no-move clause. Would he entertain a move? To the right situation, absolutely.
“(The Stanley Cup) is always going to be my objective,” Karlsson told TSN's Pierre LeBrun and Ryan Rishaug on the “Got Yer Back” podcast. “I think my family knows and understands that, and they support me in whatever decision I want to take professionally.”
Karlsson added. “I will never sway from that. I want to win. And I think as you get older and you’ve been around for a longer time, you realize that it’s not as easy as it looks, and you’ve got to hit it right at the right time.”
As JD Young of Locked on Sharks points out, Karlsson is such a valuable player at the moment, making a trade a bit more difficult in terms of balancing a far return and his cap hit.
“I’m running out of words to talk about him other than you should just give him the Norris Trophy right now because there's nobody else doing what he does, especially from the defensive position,” Young argues.
Karlsson ranks sixth overall in the NHL in total points, and leads all defensemen in scoring by 12 points over Rasmus Dahlin and Josh Morrissey.
Here’s how valuable he’s been to the Sharks this season, without a ton of support.
Young adds Karlsson’s perhaps not the greatest defender in the NHL, but his offense outweighs any deficiencies in his own end.
The NHL’s trade deadline is set for March 3rd.