Defenseman Erik Karlsson was set to be one of the most coveted free agents once the period started in July, but the San Jose Sharks made sure Monday he wasn’t even going to sniff the open market.
The Sharks and Karlsson agreed to an eight-year contract. The deal is worth $92 million, carries an $11,5 million annual cap hit and includes a full no-movement clause, according to the Associated Press.
“This was a big decision for me,” Karlsson said. “Ultimately at the end of the day, I know it's the right one for me, my family and this organization as well. I'm very happy with how everything happened and that they didn't force me into making a decision earlier than this.”
The Sharks acquired Karlsson before the start of the season from the Ottawa Senators. Though he only played 53 games because of injuries, he helped the Sharks make it to the Western Conference final where they lost to the eventual champion St. Louis Blues.
“We're extremely comfortable,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said. “It's fixed. It will be 100% come September and he's putting in the work for that. That's one of the great advantages to having the knowledge you go through the process to make this decision. It would have been more difficult for us if we were on the outside and never knew the player and you have the unknown factors in this.”
Karlsson is a two-time Norris Trophy winner and a four-time All-Star. The Senators drafted Karlsson with the No. 15 pick of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He spent nine seasons with the Senators before he was traded to the Sharks.
Over his career, Karlsson has recorded 518 points and 126 goals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.