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2017 NHL Draft: Duchene asking price likely too high for Sharks

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Colorado has an offer on the table the Sharks could match, but should they?

San Jose Sharks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene, as has been the case seemingly all season, remains on the trade block ahead of tonight’s NHL Draft. The center’s been linked to the Nashville Predators, as well as the New York Islanders. The Predators have balked at the asking price, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, but the rumored offer the Islanders have made offers a potential template for the San Jose Sharks.

The Avalanche and Islanders are discussing a trade centered on Duchene and defenseman Travis Hamonic, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple:

Isles general manager Garth Snow still covets Avalanche center Matt Duchene, however, and is believed to have an offer on the table that includes Hamonic, a prospect and possibly the Islanders’ 2018 first-round pick. Snow dealt away Friday night’s first-rounder, the 15th overall pick, to Vegas as part of an expansion-draft trade.

On paper, at least, this sounds like a deal the Sharks could match. San Jose could offer Justin Braun, next year’s first round pick (or this year’s, which the Sharks do have), and a prospect. They could potentially swap out Braun for Brenden Dillon, but would probably need to give up an additional prospect. But given some recent transactions, that may be too much for the Sharks.

After losing David Schlemko in the Expansion Draft on Wednesday, the Sharks will already be relying upon one inexperienced defenseman to fill that role. Asking another to fill Braun’s, even considering his struggles last season, doesn’t seem particularly wise.

Plus, the Sharks aren’t in a position to give up another first round pick and a prospect, despite the Barracuda’s success this season. Matthew Barzal is reportedly off of the table for the Islanders, and the Sharks would be wise to exclude Meier away from any potential deal. While including Kevin Labanc or Danny O’Regan would be more bearable than losing Meier, losing either in addition to a first round pick would leave the cupboards particularly bare, especially considering the lack of picks next season.

Duchene would give the Sharks enviable depth up the middle, but San Jose is currently not in a position to give up another defenseman, let alone cost-controlled assets for a player that’s due to become an unrestricted free agent in two seasons. Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has shown a willingness to swing for the fences at the Draft. But if Braun, a first round pick, and a prospect is the asking price, San Jose would be wise to stay away.