Doug Wilson got his winger at a high price on Tuesday evening. The Sharks sent Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional fourth round pick to the Vancouver Canucks for Jannik Hansen, a 30-year-old left winger with another year and change left on his deal who has 13 points in 28 games this season.
So about that scoring winger the Sharks needed: they didn’t get him. To get Hansen, San Jose gave up its first-round pick from the 2014 NHL draft and a pick that could become a first in the 2017 draft if the Sharks win the Stanley Cup. That pick isn’t of much concern to San Jose in that scenario, I suppose, but this is one of the worst trades Wilson has made in recent memory.
Not only does Wilson give up on Goldobin, a player averaging more than 0.80 points per game in the American Hockey League, before ever giving him a look in the NHL, he throws in a pick, too. All that for a player who doesn’t score at the NHL level. Hansen is an excellent possession player, as you can see in the chart below, but that’s not exactly an area of need for the Sharks.
Hansen scored at a 0.57 points per game pace last season, a career high, and that’s about all there is to say about the winger from the scoring department. There’s no reason to believe that will change when he joins the Sharks (he’s a career 0.42 point per game player) so San Jose just gave up a guy with tremendous offensive upside for an old guy with little scoring upside. Neat.
Then there’s Goldobin. In a very brief NHL sample size he has two points in 11 games. Nothing to write home about, but I’m not going to read too much into those numbers, either. What we’ll hear about is Goldobin’s “fit” in the organization. We’re going to hear about his “attitude” or his “aptitude” or some other sort of “team chemistry” argument.
Be wary of these statements. I’d be surprised if any come from official team channels, which means most will come through leaks and media sources. You know, the same kind of stuff that happens when a guy gets shipped out of Boston or Toronto. That doesn’t mean these things are inherently false, I’m just saying ... be careful. There’s a reason this stuff gets out there.
But if we assume that Goldobin has a bad attitude or didn’t listen to direction well or didn’t fit in with the Sharks... that’s still Wilson’s fault. The Sharks chose to draft Goldobin with their first pick in the 2014 draft and they knew what they were getting themselves into. So we either accept Wilson made a terrible pick in 2014 or made a terrible trade tonight. Either way, this is a stinker. Now we hope Hansen can help the team anyway.