Newark, NJ – Last week, it was revealed that Yegor Sharangovich is on the New Jersey Devils trade block. The 25-year-old forward found himself as the odd man out due to an influx of forwards and a dip in his own production. However, Sharangovich is still young and has a 20-goal season under his belt in which he potted 24 in the 2021-22 season. He still has plenty of worth and as Elliotte Friedman stated, trade talks are picking up. There’s no doubt there will be plenty of interest. We’ll explore five possible trade destinations for Sharangovich.
Sharangovich’s 13 goals and 30 points in 2022-23 fell short of his 24 goals and 46 points in the previous season. His deployment was undoubtedly different after Ondrej Palat’s arrival and later, Timo Meier. Two seasons ago, Sharangovich was a staple in the Devils top six spending most of his time on a line with Jack Hughes. According to NaturalStatTrick, Sharangovich, and Hughes played 506 minutes together at 5on5 in 2021-22.
This past season, the duo’s ice time significantly decreased playing just 276:10 together. Outside of skating with Hughes, Sharangovich’s deployment was inconsistent. He was placed up and down the lineup depending on the night and didn’t find much if any consistency in linemates.
Clearly, Sharangovich knows how to score. You don’t score 24 goals in a season at the NHL level by accident. However, goal-scoring isn’t the only tool in his arsenal. The Minsk, Belarus native can play on both special teams units. He’s an excellent two-way forward who is strong defensively. That’s bound to pique the interest of plenty of teams. However, some make more sense than others. Who might those teams be?
Avalanche fans have been clamoring for this one. Sharangovich is a classic Avalanche target as a forward with offensive abilities that can be enhanced by a lineup that features Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar. There’s a lot more opportunity for Sharangovich to succeed in the Avs lineup. Gabriel Landeskog is missing a second full season in 2023-24. After Artturi Lehkonen on the left side, Colorado’s left-wing depth chart is rather thin. Sharangovich could certainly become an upgrade over Evan Rodrigues and would give Colorado two strong two-way wingers on the left side.
The bonus for Colorado with Sharangovich is he’s versatile. Sharangovich can play any forward position with experience at all three. The Avs have been in pursuit of a 2C. His mold is more that of a winger and his ceiling as a center might be on the third line, but beggars can’t be choosers as the Avs are lacking draft capital they could possibly offer via trade. They do own their first-round picks for the next three seasons, however. That could net them a legitimate 2C in the right trade.
The Avalanche have a history of acquiring players that have been pushed down the depth chart. They did it with Andre Burakovsky who is cut from the same cloth as Sharangovich. It seems like a natural fit if they can put together the right trade package.
Speaking of Burakovsky, what’s better than having two?
The Kraken have over $20 million in cap space. They also own three second-round draft picks in the upcoming draft. This summer, they’ll have five RFAs and four UFAs to address, including a goaltender.
It’ll be interesting to see what Ron Francis signs defenseman Vince Dunn to this summer. He’s one of the restricted free agents that the Kraken need to address and after a 64-point season, he’s due for a raise. No one on the Kraken has a higher AAV than Burakovsky, Jordan Eberle, and Jaden Schwartz at $5.5 million. Francis has done a really good job spreading the wealth within Seattle’s roster and because Sharangovich’s qualifying offer is only $2.5 million, he can continue to do just that.
Tye Kartye was certainly a nice story scoring three goals and five points in 10 Stanley Cup Playoff games last postseason. However, it seems likely Seattle will want a bit more of a sure thing in their lineup, especially alongside Matthew Beniers. The Kraken are a team that plays by committee all throughout their lineup and Sharangovich could slot in on any line. Anywhere within their top nine on the left side seems like a fit.
We’ll stop making Burakovsky references after this, but Washington surely could have used him last season. They could get him back, albeit, with a different name in Sharangovich.
Changes are afoot in Washington. Evgeny Kuznetsov wants out, there’s question regarding Niklas Backstrom’s future, and both Connor Sheary and Craig Smith are unrestricted free agents. Smith’s best days are behind him and at 33 years old, there’s not much incentive for Washington to bring him back. Sheary could return, but even if he does, there’s still room in the Capitals’ forward group for Sharangovich.
Washington gave up more goals than they scored in 2022-23. Sharangovich, for previously mentioned reasons, can help in both departments. The Capitals could stand to play better defensively in front of Darcy Kuemper and Sharangovich is a fit.
The Capitals intend to compete while Ovechkin is still in the picture and if they’re not going to rebuild, they should be targeting young NHLers. At 25 years old, Sharangovich would help bring down the Capitals’ average age of 31.1 years old. An in-division trade is always a risk but for the right package, it would make sense for both sides.
The Predators are another team in an interesting spot. Are they going to tear it down and start from scratch or move forward with some tweaks? Jusse Saros could be on the move and incoming GM Barry Trotz intends on making “culture changes.” Traditionally, the Predators are a strong defensive team, but Trotz wants more of an offensive flare injected into his future lineup. Sharangovich is the best of both as a two-way forward.
The Predators have a little over $15.5 million in cap space this summer. They also own 13 picks as the hosts of the 2023 NHL Draft. In 2024, they own three second-round picks including their own. Case in point, they have plenty of assets to offer the Devils in terms of trade. As for Nashville, their contract situation is very top-heavy. Roman Josi makes over $9 million, Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen make $8 million each, and Ryan McDonagh makes $6.75 million. Nashville could use an impact player that doesn’t empty their wallets and Sharangovich’s $2.5 million qualifying offer is a fit.
Trotz could also certainly turn to his new head coach, Andrew Brunette, for the outlook on Sharangovich. After spending last season with the Devils, Brunette knows Sharangovich’s game, and if he believes he’s a fit, Trotz will want to equip his new head coach with players he wants to play for him.
San Jose Sharks
Obviously, the Devils and Sharks have a trade history. Tom Fitzgerald and Mike Grier connected on a trade that sent Meier to New Jersey for a significant package the other way to San Jose.
The Sharks own the fourth overall selection at the upcoming NHL Draft. The draft class is so strong that depending on who the Sharks select, that player could already be NHL-ready. San Jose is another team that hasn’t declared a rebuild. They have some decent pieces in place, including former Devil Fabian Zetterlund, that could make them somewhat competitive soon. The Sharks also have some decent prospects that are close to NHL-ready in William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau. It might be a long shot, but there is a path for the Sharks to take a step forward next season if they navigate this summer properly. With Sharangovich in the mix, it’ll only help.
The Devils won’t get their first-round selection back, but the Sharks have plenty of capital they could offer. They have four RFA and three UFA contracts to sort out, plus there’s a sense Kevin LaBanc is a buyout candidate. If so, the Sharks’ $14+ million will increase this summer, however, they’ll need some bargain contracts. Following a disappointing 2022-23 season, $2.5 million might not be considered a “bargain,” however, if put in the right position to succeed, Sharangovich could become one.
If Hertl shifts back to center and bumps Logan Couture down to 2C, Sharangovich could easily be San Jose’s first-line winger. It’s a sure upgrade for the Sharks who are looking to add more young NHLers while continuing to deny a rebuild.