The San Jose Sharks were believed to be closing in on a goaltender ahead of the Expansion Draft roster freeze and now a deal is done. The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reports that the Sharks have acquired goaltender Adin Hill from their now-former division rival Arizona Coyotes. San Jose will send young goalie Josef Korenar back to Arizona to satisfy exposure requirements for the Coyotes. The ’Yotes will also receive a 2022 second-round pick, while sending their own 2022 seventh-round pick to the Sharks alongside Hill, adds Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
This trade was – obviously – all about the Expansion Draft. The Sharks did not have a goaltender that they felt was worthy of protection from the Seattle Kraken and the Coyotes had two. Arizona had reportedly been listening to offers for both starter Darcy Kuemper and backup Hill, expecting that Seattle would select Hill if he could not be protected. They end up losing the promising young netminder regardless, but get something back from San Jose – a goalie prospect and a high-value draft pick. Meanwhile, the Sharks will expose starter Martin Jones, who has failed to live up to his lofty contract, in favor of Hill. Jones is very unlikely to be selected, although such a decision would be well received by the Sharks anyhow. Kuemper and Hill had been the Coyotes’ only goaltenders eligible for the Expansion Draft, necessitating the return of Korenar to fill the exposure quota of one goaltender under contract or team control.
Hill will be given every opportunity to take the starting job from Jones this season. The 25-year-old’s role in the desert has been increasing in each of the past three years, capped off with a career-high 19 appearances and 17 starts in 2020-21. Hill is a big, positional goaltender who has translated his ability well from the AHL to the NHL. Over the past two seasons, Hill has recorded a .915 save percentage and 2.70 GAA in 32 games. Playing behind a deeper and more talented defense corps in San Jose, those numbers have a chance to improve, which would certainly be an upgrade to Jones’ recent efforts.
With that said, given the desperate position of the Coyotes in this situation, it is fair to wonder if San Jose overpaid. What will very likely be an early second-round pick next year alongside a promising rookie keeper in Korenar is a steep price. Arizona risked losing Hill for nothing and instead added quality building blocks.