Though an unsigned restricted free agent when acquired from the Arizona Coyotes, there was no question that young goaltender Adin Hill was a big part of the San Jose Sharks’ future. That became even more clear when incumbent starter Martin Jones was bought out. The Sharks have now taken their first official step toward a new status quo in net, signing Hill to a new deal. The team announced that the 25-year-old has inked a two-year deal. Kevin Kurz of The Athletic reports that it will carry a $2.175MM cap hit, paying Hill $1.675MM in 2021-22 and $2.675MM in 2022-23.
Hill arrives in San Jose with his eye on the starting job after gradually increasing his role with the Coyotes over the past three seasons. From four NHL games and an .891 save percentage in 2017-18, Hill improved to 13 games apiece in the next two years with a combined .910 save percentage and finally to a career-best 19 games, including 17 starts, and a .913 save percentage in 2020-21. Hill’s numbers are remarkably similar to his AHL play, he has a career 2.79 GAA and .909 save percentage in the NHL and a 2.69 GAA and .909 save percentage in 138 AHL games. Often the mark of a good goaltender, Hill shows little discrepancy in his play regardless of the caliber of competition or defense in front of him.
At 6’6″, Hill is a big, positional goaltender who learned how to use his size from one of the best in the game right now, new Colorado Avalanche addition Darcy Kuemper. The Sharks hope that Hill has a ceiling like Kuemper, but will settle for any upgrade to Jones’ abysmal numbers over the past few years. With the term of his new deal coming in shorter than that of veteran free agent signing James Reimer, San Jose will not be completely left hanging if Hill does not pan over the next two years, but they would much rather be signing him to a long-term extension in 2023 than searching for a replacement.