The San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils have completed a minor trade, swapping Christian Jaros and Nicholas Merkley. Immediately, Jaros has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Devils worth $800K at the NHL level and $275K in the AHL.
Jaros, 25, played seven games for the Sharks this season after a late January trade from the Ottawa Senators. An imposing figure on the ice standing 6’3″ 222-lbs, the fifth-round pick will likely be a depth piece for New Jersey like he has been at his previous two stops. In 2018-19, his only full NHL season, he managed ten points in 61 games with the Senators. A one-year deal likely won’t come in at anything more than the $750K league minimum.
Merkley is perhaps the more interesting name to follow in this deal, if only because of his draft pedigree. Picked 30th overall in 2015, he has never been able to translate his exceptional junior production into consistent scoring at the NHL level. In 27 games this year, he recorded two goals and ten points, taking his career total to 12.
Overall, this is just a trade of two depth pieces that needed a different fit. The blueline in San Jose is overcrowded with expensive veterans, but the forward group is in need of some new additions. In New Jersey, it’s almost the opposite, with a defensive group still completely up in the air even after the acquisition of Ryan Graves. For each player it seems like there will be more opportunity in the NHL, though they’ll still need to prove they’re capable of taking on that role.
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet first reported the trade.