The Sharks desperately needed a goaltender and found one in Jones, but will he be a bona fide starter in San Jose? The return to Boston indicates that expectations are high.
Just yesterday, Antti Niemi said that he signed with Dallas quickly because he believed the goalie market was not strong. Now, San Jose has found his replacement via trade with the Bruins and the price was steep.
The Sharks landed former Kings backup Martin Jones in a deal with Boston, sending a 2016 first-rounder and soon-to-be Miami RedHawks captain Sean Kuraly to the Bruins.
Kuraly, heading into his senior year at the NCHC school, already has a world junior gold medal on his resume with Team USA and was ranked as San Jose’s fourth-best prospect in this year’s edition of Future Watch. The 6-foot-2 center is a physical two-way presence with a nice scoring touch.
In Jones, the Sharks get a 25-year-old goaltender they are very stoked about.
“Martin was at the top of our list of players that we had targeted,” said GM Doug Wilson in an official release. “We’re extremely excited to have him on board.”
Jones has put up stellar numbers in limited NHL starts, all with Los Angeles. The icky question for Sharks fans is whether or not those stats were partially owed to playing behind a Kings team that was defensively sturdy during his tenure.
Ben Scrivens, for example, rocked a 1.97 goals-against average and .930 save percentage with the Kings, then dropped to a 3.01 GAA and .916 save pct. in the same season once he was traded to Edmonton. Are the Sharks going to be as bad as Edmonton was in 2013-14? No, but they still won’t be anywhere near the Kings from that same campaign.
Barring another move, San Jose’s goaltending depth chart is now Jones, Alex Stalock (49 career NHL games) and Troy Grosenick (two games – though one was a shutout). It’s interesting that one day after Dallas GM Jim Nill said he needed two starting goalies to compete in the West, the Sharks don’t have one that has been a full-season starter in the NHL.
But goalies are weird, right? Andrew Hammond, Devan Dubnyk and Scott Darling all made headlines this season, so maybe Jones is worth the gamble. At the least, this trade gave Boston GM Don Sweeney a momentary respite from the scorching he has been receiving from Bruins fans this week (though Dougie Hamilton’s contract details in Calgary might change that again).