After missing out on the John Tavares sweepstakes, the San Jose Sharks rebounded in a nice way later in the offseason. They made one of the biggest acquisitions in franchise history, acquiring two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators.
This move may have catapulted them into a serious Stanley Cup contender position. At the same time, this is a fascinating move for long-time Sharks' fans as it might be the one move that finally gets them over the hump to capture a championship.
Even though the Sharks may only have Karlsson for one year it might be enough for this franchise to win it all. With that said, let’s have some fun and take a look at five crazy predictions that may happen in 2018/19.
Crazy prediction #1:
Evander Kane will score 40 goals.
Evander Kane is a decent scorer in the league, with 186 goals in his NHL career and he hit the 20-goal plateau for three-straight seasons.
It's fair to say that Kane hasn’t really played on too many good teams early on in his career, and the San Jose Sharks might be the most talented team he has even be on in his career.
His role in San Jose will likely be a lot different than years past. He will get plenty of support offensively and can focus much more on scoring than anything else.
Playing with talented players like Karlsson and Burns on the backend along with excellent playmakers in Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, and Joe Thornton should only bolster Kane’s offensive numbers.
So a career-high of 40-goals shouldn’t be out of the question in 2018/19.
Crazy prediction #2:
Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns will win the Norris Trophy.
Take your pick, between Karlsson and Burns they have combined to win three of the past seven Norris Trophies and were finalists for the award three other times.
Now San Jose has both of them on the same team!
Karlsson and Burns should only benefit each other’s game. Their minutes and defensive workload will be shared, giving them more time and energy to generate offense and help their team win.
It remains to be seen, but there is a good chance either one of these two will capture another Norris Trophy in 2019!
Crazy prediction #3:
Joe Thornton will score 80 points.
Yes, Joe Thornton has slowed down a bit and is no longer the Hart Trophy winner he once was. However, he is still a productive player in his late 30's.
Despite battling with injuries last season, Thornton was still able to score 36 points in 47 games. With a full summer to recover along with a roster that now has Evander Kane and Erik Karlsson, Thornton's numbers should come up a lot easier in 2018/19.
If he is able to stay healthy, Thornton should be one of the Sharks’ primary playmakers, setting up many of their finishers with easy tap-in's.
Even though Jumbo Joe will be turning 40 next year, an 80-point season might be possible.
Crazy prediction #4:
San Jose will have a 30% power play percentage.
Yes, that’s a lofty goal for any team in the NHL. To put things into perspective, the 1977/78 Montreal Canadiens holds the record for the best power play percentage in a single season with 31.88%.
But if you had to pick one team to breach the 30% mark right now, the San Jose Sharks might be your best bet.
Especially if they decide to load up their power play with Karlsson and Burns on the backend. Along with a few snipers like Logan Couture and Evander Kane.
Simply put, it is one power play that nobody wants to play against and might be the closest thing to a “Superteam” in today’s NHL.
Crazy prediction #5:
San Jose Sharks will win the Stanley Cup!
This team is built to win now! They have disappointed their fanbase too many times over the past two decades.
But now with Erik Karlsson on their roster, anything short of a Stanley Cup final appearance should be considered a disappointment.
We saw Alex Ovechkin finally capture a Stanley Cup last year, and it’s finally time that players like Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Brent Burns, and Erik Karlsson get a chance to hoist a Stanley Cup!
Do you agree with the predictions? Do you think the Sharks will win the cup this year? Let us know in the comment section below, and make sure to give us a follow on Twitter (@VAVELNHL_ENG) for more updates!