Michael Russo of The Athletic is reporting that the Minnesota Wild have traded defenseman Calen Addison to the San Jose Sharks for a fifth-round pick. The 23-year-old has five assists in 12 games so far this season and will join a rebuilding Sharks team that just won its first game of the season last night. According to Russo, the draft pick appears to be a 2026 selection and the Wild will also receive minor-league right winger Adam Raska in the deal. Raska is currently playing in the AHL for the San Jose Barracuda and has zero points in seven games this season.
On the surface, the move is a peculiar one for the Wild, Addison was a second-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2018 and was a central part of the trade package the Penguins sent to the Wild in exchange for Jason Zucker. Last season, Addison posted three goals and 26 assists in 62 games in what was his first full season in the NHL. Those numbers, while impressive, do require some context. 18 of Addison’s 26 assists came on the powerplay, and while his offensive instincts are obvious, his defensive shortcomings leave a lot to be desired. Last season, Addison was a -17, and while that statistic can be misleading, a deep dive into his defensive analytics will tell you a very similar story. Things got so bad defensively last season that Addison went through a stretch where he was a healthy scratch in 25 out of the 35 games (including regular season and playoffs). During this stretch, the Wild traded for John Klingberg who took over powerplay responsibilities from Addison and his spot in the lineup. This led to Addison spending most of the summer without a contract extension before ultimately signing a one-year $825K deal on September 19. Now with the trade, Addison will close a very uneven run in Minnesota.
From the Sharks’ perspective, the move makes total sense, the club is rebuilding and gets to acquire a right-shot offensively-minded defenseman for almost nothing. If Addison is unable to turn his defensive game around San Jose can simply non-tender him in the offseason and walk away from Addison without any long-term ramifications. Sharks general manager Mike Grier has decided that a fifth-round pick and an AHLer is worth rolling the dice on a player who could develop into a long-term fixture on the Sharks powerplay when they emerge from their current rebuild.