Erik Karlsson has made it clear that he's intent on staying in San Jose.
In a conversation with The Athletic's Corey Masisak published on Thursday, Karlsson shared his thoughts on the chaotic events that have unfolded within the Sharks organization over the past few years, highlighted by the major management change that saw longtime GM Doug Wilson step down last season before he was replaced by Mike Grier this summer.
Despite a new regime entering the fold, Karlsson has only further reiterated his intent to win in San Jose, shooting down any potential rumors of him requesting a trade out of town.
"No, I committed here a long time ago," answered Karlsson when asked about a potential desire to move.
"It didn’t work out the way we wanted it to early on. There are a lot of things that probably played into that. I’m not going to get into details about that. But I am excited for the future here now. I hope we can move in the direction to be successful again."
Karlsson will be the highest-paid player on the Sharks this season, set to earn a whopping $11.5 million through 2026-27. Injuries have hung over him continuously throughout his tenure in San Jose, with Karlsson having never played more than 56 games in any of the four seasons he's spent as a Shark. Those health struggles surfaced once again in 2021-22, with Karlsson managing to suit up in just 50 games for the fledgling Sharks before ultimately being ruled out for the remainder of the year in February.
If the Sharks are hoping to take a step in the right direction this season after missing the playoffs for the past three years, they'll need Karlsson to perform like the elite top-pairing defender he once was. At age 32, Karlsson's ability to claw back to that level remains to be seen.
But, at the very least, he's going to give it everything he's got as a member of the Sharks.