Yesterday Erik Karlsson re-signed with the San Jose Sharks, and was awarded an 8-year contract extension worth $ 92 million. It will be an annual cap hit of $ 11.5 million. Sharks took a gamble on his health for the future, but still get one of the most dynamic and mobile defenseman in the league.
Later Winnipeg Jets traded Jacob Trouba to the New York Rangers for a first round pick, 20th overall, and young defenseman Neal Pionk. Trouba was never going to re-sign with the Jets, and wanted all along a move back to the USA. He got his wishes and the Rangers made a big addition to their rebuild.
With both Erik Karlsson and Jacob Trouba gone the defensemen market got a lot thinner. They where two of the biggest names, who were rumored to be available. Of course, Karlsson never hit the open market and San Jose took care of business before that deadline. Tyler Myers and Jake Gardiner are now two of the biggest names who could and probably will hit unrestricted free agency. The deals for Trouba and Karlsson make it much tougher for the Jets and Maple Leafs to re-sign them. Both teams have stated they would like to get them signed, but they both have serious cap trouble. The Trouba deal of course makes it a bit easier for the Jets. Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets will probably have a very busy week and they will be involved in a lot of rumors and trade talk leading up to the draft this weekend.
Other big name UFAs for July 1, include Vancouver Canucks Alexander Edler and Tampa Bay Lighning Anton Strålman. Both Edler and Strålman have indicated they would like to test the open market, but have not ruled out a return to their current team. Behind them it gets a lot thinner, even if you can find good deals for other players.
In a smaller trade today the Philadelphia Flyers acquired defenseman Justin Braun from the San Jose Sharks for two draft picks, second round pick in 2019 and a third round pick in 2020.