The theme to the first day of free agency for the San Jose Sharks is “veteran presence,” as the team adds two veteran forwards in winger Andrew Cogliano and center Nick Bonino.
Bonino, of course, is no stranger to the organization, as he was drafted by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, 173rd overall. His career with the Sharks was short-lived, as his rights, along with goaltender Timo Pielmeier, were traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Travis Moen and Kent Huskins in 2009.
Since then, he’s been a bit of an NHL journeyman, playing for the Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Minnesota Wild. He won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins, including one against the Sharks in 2016.
Now, he’s joining the Sharks for two years, with an average annual value of $2.05 million, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
At 33 years old, he’s still an effective middle-six forward, with great defensive results and decent offensive results. In 55 games with the Wild last season, Bonino put up 10 goals and 16 assists.
Nick Bonino (2x2m with San Jose) is a good second-liner who does not need to take a PP spot from anybody else. pic.twitter.com/sBBcGM5fBC— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) July 28, 2021
“Nick is a proven, veteran center who has been a winner at every level of hockey he has played,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a release. “His skillset is well-rounded, bringing a lot of intangibles to our club, and he has a knack for playing his best when it means the most.”
Wilson also admitted to the media that he’d been trying to acquire both Cogliano and Bonino for years, though he was the person who drafted and traded Bonino.
The addition of the two veteran forwards should help bring stability to the roster as younger players adjust to the NHL and they both come in with cheap and moveable contracts. The Sharks almost certainly missed out on their prime, but Doug Wilson ultimately could’ve done a lot worse on the first day of free agency