The San Jose Sharks are facing more than a few tough decisions when it comes to impending free agents this season. Fortunately, they’ve been able to get out in front of at least one set of negotiations. The Sharks have announced a two-year extension with forward Marcus Sorensen. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun adds that the new contract carries a $1.5MM cap hit.
Sorensen, 26, was set to hit the open market this summer for the first time as an established pro, but has in fact been a free agent before. Sorensen was actually a fourth-round pick by the Ottawa Senators back in 2010, but the team opted not to sign him. He remained in his native Sweden until a breakout season with Djurgardens IF in 2015-16 prompted him to examine his options in the NHL. Sorensen signed a one-year entry-level deal with San Jose and then signed a subsequent two-year extension, playing each season with the Sharks at under $1MM. Sorensen was nothing more than a part-time depth asset through his first two years, but this year is vastly outplaying his $700K price tag. The versatile bottom-six forward has a career-high 15 points and 47 games played already, having finally carved out a regular role for himself. While Sorensen possesses natural offensive instincts and stick-handling skills, he has finally embraced a more physical, high-energy game that makes him a valued depth forward.
With Sorensen signed, the Sharks have at least made a small dent in their laundry list of free agency decisions. Captain Joe Pavelski, aging legend Joe Thornton, and talented winger Joonas Donskoi are all set to be unrestricted free agents, while breakout star Timo Meier and fellow young forward Kevin Labanc are also due new contracts as restricted free agents. Of course, that’s just up front, as superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson is obviously the team’s biggest question mark. The Sharks are rolling right now, winning eight of their last ten games, and are legitimate Stanley Cup threats this season. How well that pursuit goes will obviously dictate what steps they take in free agency. Yet, the team already determined that Sorensen was a player worth keeping no matter what, which says a lot about how much the team values their under-rated forward.