The San Jose Sharks might not be huge players in the unrestricted free agent market this year, but they are keeping another one of their excellent young players. Timo Meier has signed a four-year contract extension with the Sharks that will carry a $6MM average annual value. Meier will still be a restricted free agent at the end of the deal, and will be eligible for salary arbitration. GM Doug Wilson released a statement on his young forward:
Timo is one of only a few young, dominant power forwards in the NHL and we’re extremely pleased that he stepped forward to make this commitment to the Sharks. Timo has elevated himself into a core part of our hockey team and his play last season was a huge part of our success. We feel that his best hockey is still ahead of him.
With numbers rolling around for some of the top restricted free agents that sometimes approaches eight digits, the Sharks look like they got a steal of a deal with Meier. The 22-year-old had a breakout season and keeps showing marked improvement in each year, which the team was hoping for when they made him the ninth-overall pick in 2015. Meier tallied three goals and six points in 34 games during his rookie season, but took that to a new level in his sophomore campaign when he tallied 21 goals and 36 points. While solid, Meier took his game to a whole new level this year as he became a major component to the Sharks’ offense, scoring 30 goals and 66 points.
With a better than expected $6MM deal, the Sharks should have some extra money to add depth to their team. The team has lost a number of key players from last season as they recently allowed captain Joe Pavelski as well as winger Joonas Donskoi to walk away in free agency. The team also traded away defenseman Justin Braun on defense and have quite a few holes to fill.