The San Jose Sharks have signed defender Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract per CapFriendly. His minors salary is $200,000 and his NHL salary carries a $700,000 cap hit.
Originally drafted the the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round (126 overall) of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the Swedish defender got his start in his home country’s junior league and eventually, their top-tier men’s league. He came to North America in 2012 to join the Binghamton Senators of the AHL. Claesson made his NHL debut in 2015 and played parts of three seasons with the Senators.
In 2018, he was not qualified by the Senators and became a free agent. He signed a one-year contract with the New York Rangers, where he put up six points in 37 games. In 2019, he signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Hurricanes, playing with their AHL affiliate until he traded to the New Jersey Devils as part of the package for Sami Vatanen at the trade deadline.
In 155 NHL games, Claesson has totaled seven goals, 21 assists and 50 penalty minutes.
As a left-handed defender, this signing signals that Radim Simek may not be ready to go at the start of the season. His surgically repaired knee that limited him to just 48 and 41 games over the last two seasons has been giving him trouble since late May/early June. Though last week, Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said he expected Simek to be ready to go for the Sharks’ season opener, the signing of Claesson is certain to be insurance down the left side.
The Sharks will open the season on Thursday, January 14 against the Arizona Coyotes at 6 p.m. PT/9 p.m. ET.