The San Jose Sharks won’t be able to afford new contracts for all of their pending free agents, so names like Joonas Donskoi are going to have to scour the market for a new opportunity. That isn’t going to be very difficult, as Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required) reports that nearly have the league has already “kicked the tires” on Donskoi, and lists the Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche and Buffalo Sabres as teams with real interest.
The 27-year old winger has scored 14 goals in each of the last two seasons and reached a new career-high with 37 points in the 2018-19 campaign. That was despite averaging just over 13 minutes a night, making him quite an efficient scorer in the lower half of the Sharks’ lineup. It comes as no surprise then that teams are interested in bringing him aboard, hoping they can coax even more production out.
It is important to note that unlike many depth wingers, Donskoi has virtually no experience on the penalty kill and thus would need to be able to contribute enough offensively to warrant whatever deal he eventually earns. Though he’s not useless defensively and isn’t completely against physical play, those are certainly not his calling cards.
Edmonton, as LeBrun points out, is checking the market on basically every free agent winger including Donskoi’s teammate Gustav Nyquist, who is also drawing interest but hasn’t ruled out a return to San Jose. The Oilers are in desperate need of help this season to try and avoid missing the playoffs again, and will look to add some skill to Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl on the open market.