The San Jose Sharks have decided to keep Alexander Barabanov around, reaching a two-year extension with the versatile forward. The deal keeps him under contract through 2023-24 and will carry an average annual value of $2.5MM, according to Chris Johnston of TSN. Johnston adds that it will include a ten-team no-trade clause, and signing bonuses of $1.0MM in 2022-23 and $500K in 2023-24. Barabanov was set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Interim general manager Joe Will released the following statement:
Alexander had a very good first full year in the NHL, showing that he is a consistent point producer and playmaker. Paired with his grit and hard work, he has the potential to improve upon his success this past year.
Barabanov, 27, has found a perfect fit in San Jose since arriving there in a 2021 trade. The Toronto Maple Leafs seemingly gave him a fresh start after struggling to get into their lineup, and things exploded nearly immediately for the Russian winger. After scoring seven points in nine games down the stretch in 2020-21, Barabanov returned with another strong campaign for the Sharks this year, scoring 39 points in 70 games. While he isn’t expected to be a top-end offensive producer, his work ethic and two-way ability make him a valuable piece that can move around the lineup.
In fact, given he has spent the vast majority of his time in San Jose with Tomas Hertl, who the Sharks just signed to a massive eight-year extension, it made a ton of sense to keep Barabanov in the fold. The two, along with Timo Meier, who has often been on the right side, have found nice chemistry together and produced at both ends of the rink. Whether Barabanov’s success is mostly a product of Hertl is another question entirely, and one that will certainly need to be answered if he ends up finding himself somewhere else in the lineup at some point in these next two years.
Minutes later, the Sharks announced that they have also signed Jaycob Megna to a two-year extension. The 29-year-old defenseman was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent this summer after finding a nice role with the Sharks this year. In 44 games, the 6’6″ Megna averaged over 19 minutes a night, easily the biggest opportunity of his professional career. Originally selected 210th overall in 2012, he had played just 43 NHL games before this season, all with the Anaheim Ducks, and none of them had come since 2019.
The team did not immediately release details on Megna’s contract, though Will also released a short statement on the deal:
Jaycob is a reliable player that defends well. He is a high-character person that was recently recognized by Team USA and will be playing for his country at the World Championship.