Sharks sign Melker Karlsson to two-year, $3.25 million contract

24-year-old forward scored at a 20-goal pace in his rookie season.

According to TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie, the Sharks have re-signed pending restricted free agent forward Melker Karlsson to a two-year, $3.25 million contract. An undrafted free agent signing out of Sweden a year ago, Karlsson burst onto the scene this past season with 13 goals and 24 points in his 53-game rookie year, enjoying a lot of success as the primary forechecker on a line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski.

Re-signing the 24-year-old at a reasonable cap hit was definitely the right move but it's worth tempering expectations a bit in terms of what Karlsson can provide going forward. Never much of a scorer in the SHL, Karlsson's 20-goal pace in his debut NHL season can largely be chalked up to a combination of playing with the Joes and scoring on nearly 12% of his 5-on-5 shots in a league where the average forward scores on about 9% of his shots at evens. Karlsson likely won't be able to replicate his scoring success next year but he'll remain a useful energy forward who's shown he can be a passable complementary player on a scoring line and there's certainly value in that. Ideally, though, the Sharks should look to use some of their ample cap space on finding a more natural scorer to play with the Joes and allow Karlsson to excel in the bottom-six role he's better suited to.