Before the San Jose Sharks acquired netminder Martin Jones from the Boston Bruins, the club’s future between the pipes looked uncertain. Hours after trading for Jones, however, the Sharks shored up their goaltending situation for at least the next few seasons.
Tuesday evening the Sharks announced they have locked up the 25-year-old Jones to a three-year deal worth $9 million. The cap hit, a mere $3 million per season, all but solidifies the fact that the Sharks will look to Jones as their starter as early as next season. Jones’ price tag puts him at almost double the cap hit of the Sharks’ backup netminder, Alex Stalock, who was the frontrunner for the starting job had San Jose not gone out and acquired Jones.
“Martin was at the top of our list of players that we had targeted,” Sharks GM Doug Wilson said in a release by the club. “We’re extremely excited to have him on board.”
The Sharks need in goal was evident, as the club had dealt the rights to netminder Antti Niemi to the Dallas Stars three days prior to acquiring Jones. With Niemi gone, Stalock, Troy Grosenick and Joel Rumpel were the only goaltenders currently in the Sharks system. There aren’t many appealing free agent options currently on the market, so trading for and inking Jones is a well-executed gamble by San Jose.
Tuesday’s trade of Jones to San Jose was the second time the netminder had been dealt in the past week. Before the first round of the 2015 draft had begun, the Los Angeles Kings swung a deal that sent Jones, Colin Miller and a first-round pick to Boston in exchange for Milan Lucic. Then, five days later, the deal with the Sharks was completed, netting the Bruins a first-round pick in 2016 and prospect Sean Kuraly.
Jones has been heralded as one of the brightest young, up-and-coming netminders in the league, but was stuck in the unfavorable position of being the backup to Kings starter Jonathan Quick. Now, in San Jose, Jones will get the chance to step out of the background and into a starting role.
Over his 34 total games in the big league, Jones has amassed a record of 16-11-2 to go along with a 1.99 goals-against average and .923 save percentage. He has also recorded a gaudy seven shutouts over that time.