The San Jose Sharks completed two trades today, ending with the acquisition of defenseman Christian Jaros from the Ottawa Senators. First, the Sharks sent Trevor Carrick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for minor league forward Jack Kopacka, who they then flipped along with a 2022 seventh-round selection to the Senators for Jaros. GM Doug Wilson released a short statement on his newest defenseman:
Christian is a big right-shot defenseman who plays a physical game. He is a young player with 76 games of NHL experience so far and has the ability to grow his game.
This is a rare three-way trade in the NHL, though the Sharks can likely claim that they received the best player in the deal, given Jaros’ previous NHL experience. The 24-year-old defenseman has played in 76 games for the Senators over the last three seasons, including 61 in 2018-19. He was pushed down the depth chart by some of Ottawa’s more veteran additions since then and cleared waivers earlier this month. Yes, the Sharks could have acquired Jaros at that point for nothing but a waiver claim, but clearing actually likely improved Jaros’ trade value. He can now be moved up and down freely between the NHL, taxi squad, and AHL until he plays in 10 NHL games or spends 30 days on the NHL roster.
That flexibility is valuable for a team like the Sharks who just put Jacob Middleton on waivers today, potentially losing him to a claim should someone be interested in the left-shot defenseman. Jaros will become a useful depth piece that could even push for some NHL playing time if younger players like Mario Ferraro or Nikolai Knyzhov falter (though that certainly doesn’t seem likely for the former at this point).
In Carrick, the Ducks are receiving a minor league star, who has routinely put up huge offensive seasons from the back end. The 26-year-old has only ever played seven games at the NHL level though and likely is an addition more for the San Diego Gulls than anything. It just so happens that Sam Carrick, his older brother, is the captain of the Gulls.
Kopacka, the youngest player involved in the deals, spent most of the 2019-20 season with the Gulls, though he also did have a short stint with the Tulsa Oilers of the ECHL. A fourth-round pick from 2016, he has yet to play in the NHL or really break out in the minor leagues. The Senators of course are also getting a seventh-round pick, a nice little sweetener for a player that seemed unlikely to see the ice with them this season. Even beyond the NHL roster, the Senators have some younger prospects that will need playing time before long, and moving Jaros has cleared the way.