The San Jose Sharks announced today that forward Martin Kaut has been reassigned to the team’s AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. The move comes just after Kaut registered an assist in the Sharks’ 4-3 overtime victory against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Kaut’s reassignment is somewhat surprising given the strong form he has displayed in recent games. Since his March 18th recall, Kaut has scored four points in six games, seeing his ice time rise to over 18 minutes on two occasions.
Acquired from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Ryan Merkley in a swap of underachieving 2018 first-round picks, (the deal also involved two other players) Kaut has fit in quite well wherever he’s been assigned in the Sharks organization.
In the AHL, Kaut has scored 13 points in 15 games for the Barracuda, and his overall total for the Sharks is five points in nine games. While he has just 11 career points in 56 games, the Sharks were intrigued enough by what Kaut could bring to the table to surrender Merkley, a player who was once the team’s top defensive prospect.
While it’s still too early to tell if the swap will ultimately pay off for GM Mike Grier, it’s impossible to be anything but encouraged by how Kaut has been playing. Now back with the Barracuda, he’ll be expected to take an important, top-of-the-lineup role as the team looks to close out what has been an uneven AHL campaign.
This reassignment obviously hurts the 23-year-old’s ability to get a few more productive NHL games on his resume before his contract expires over the summer and he hits restricted free agency. But if he can continue to play well in the AHL, he will likely head into offseason negotiations on stronger footing than he entered the year on.