Ryan Merkley’s time with the San Jose Sharks is over.
Merkley, the Sharks’ 2018 first-round decide, was traded, together with staunch penalty killer Matt Nieto, to the Colorado Avalanche for his or her 2018 first-round decide Martin Kaut and depth NHL defenseman Jacob MacDonald.
Each Merkley, the No. 21 decide of the 2018 Draft, and Czech ahead Kaut, the No. 16 decide, have seen their progress stall of their respective organizations. A lot so, Merkley requested a commerce in early January, whereas Kaut went by waivers unclaimed twice this season.
Offensive defenseman Merkley collected two targets and 42 assists in 93 AHL video games, and a objective and 5 assists in 39 NHL contests. The 22-year-old, nonetheless, has not performed an NHL sport this season, working completely with the San Jose Barracuda.
Merkley’s Offense Is the Similar Downside as His Protection
Kaut was a prime six ahead for the Colorado Eagles however failed to remain in a backside six position with the Avalanche. The 6-foot-2 winger has 47 targets and 52 assists in 173 AHL appearances, and three targets and three assists in 47 NHL video games. The 23-year-old has one objective and two assists in 27 video games with the Avs this season.
For Colorado, Nieto must be an improve over Kaut in a depth position. The 30-year-old has moonlighted as a second-line winger this season, notching eight targets and 7 assists in 45 video games. He is not more likely to have that job on a deeper Avalanche squad however must be a dependable backside six vitality ahead and penalty killer.
Nieto Making Most of Alternative on Scoring Line
Nieto additionally performed for the Avs from 2017 to 2020, after, you guessed it, making his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks in 2013. He signed with San Jose as a UFA in October 2020. So the 10-year NHL veteran has the bizarre distinction of getting made 4 NHL stops, however with solely two groups.
MacDonald is a two-time AHL All-Star Staff defenseman who additionally has 76 NHL video games to his credit score. The 29-year-old has zero targets and two assists in 33 video games for the Avalanche this season.
The Cornell College product labored within the ECHL and AHL for 4 seasons earlier than incomes an NHL contract with the Florida Panthers in July 2018. The subsequent 12 months, the Panthers traded the 6-foot-0 blueliner to the Avalanche. with Dominic Toninato, and he has been a part of the Colorado group ever since.
Truthfully, I am unsure if Kaut or MacDonald will transfer the needle a lot for the San Jose Sharks, however they may very well be high-end acquisitions for the San Jose Barracuda. With the Sharks effectively out of the playoff race, I consider GM Mike Grier actually needs the Barracuda to make the postseason to present prime prospects William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau some invaluable playoff expertise.
The Barracuda grasp on to the seventh-and-last playoff spot within the Pacific Division, simply forward of the Henderson Silver Knights and Bakersfield Condors.
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