The Sharks have re-signed forward Chris Tierney to a two-year contract with an average annual value of $2,937,500. The 24-year-old will be a restricted free agent in 2020.
This deal comes after Tierney was scheduled for arbitration. Matt Cane (@Cane_Matt), who does contract predictions based on previous contract signings, had projected Tierney at a touch over $2.1 million AAV for two years, indicating a bit of an overpay from the market value of similar players.
In a release by the team, Doug Wilson said of Tierney: “Chris had his best season as a professional last year and stepped up his level of play in multiple areas. We’ve always known he was a responsible, defensive-minded player, but he took his offensive game to the next tier and showed that he can be a productive player in all three zones. We look forward to watching him continue his evolution in 2018-19.”
Tierney has shown marked improvement, hitting 40 points for the first time last season in a mostly third-line role. Setting career highs in all categories, Tierney ranked fifth on the team in goals (17), tied for fifth in points, third in faceoff wins (488), fourth in takeaways (50) and first in shorthanded points (four). He added two assists in ten post-season games. In total, Tierney has tallied 41 goals and 63 assists over 284 career games with the Sharks.
Wilson mentioned Tierney’s defensive responsibility, and it’s clear the organization trusts him to be a two-way player. He leads all forwards in penalty kill ice time, averaging 1:37 on the kill. Since 2015-16, he has lead the Sharks in both shorthanded points (seven) and shorthanded goals (four).
He’s also an important part of the San Jose community, serving as the Hockey is For Everyone ambassador for the past two seasons, earning him a nomination for the King Clancy Trophy in 2018.
Originally drafted by the Sharks in the second round, 55 overall, of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Tierney stand outs among the second-day selections, having played the most games and posted the second-highest point totals.
He’s shown a lot of progress, but his use next season will be something to watch, as the addition of Antti Soumela will shift around the middle six and his role may change over the next year.