Wednesday: The deal has been officially announced by the Sharks, who included this statement from GM Doug Wilson:
Joel has consistently proven his skill and hockey IQ, as is evident in his continued improvement in juniors, Allsvenskan, and the Swedish Hockey League. He has proven himself at each level, including over 200 games before the age of 24 at Sweden’s highest level, which is an accomplishment on its own. His intelligence and responsibility on the ice are going to be a huge asset to our organization and we look forward to his joining us.
Kellman, 24, has played the last four seasons in the SHL and recorded 34 points in 45 games this season for Brynas. The talented offensive player has long been an effective weapon in the Swedish ranks, but never drew much NHL or international attention. That has apparently ended now that he’s on his way to San Jose, where he can battle for a spot with the team in 2019-20.
The Sharks are not new to the European free agent scene, having signed players like Lukas Radil and Radim Simek out of the Czech Republic in recent years. The team knows that with so much capital tied up in veterans like Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Logan Couture, they need to fill out the fringes of the roster with cheap, effective talent. While there’s no guarantee that Kellman can bring his level of production to the NHL, he does offer plenty of professional experience while still only earning an entry-level salary.