Sharks trade three-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson
The Penguins made a critical trade, acquiring defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Sharks in a three-team deal.
The Penguins have made a significant trade by acquiring defenseman Erik Karlsson from the Sharks in a three-team deal involving the Canadiens. In exchange, the Sharks received a 2024 first-round pick, forward Mikael Granlund, defenseman Jan Rutta, and left winger Mike Hoffman. The Canadiens, on the other hand, acquired forward Nathan Legare, defenseman Jeff Petry, goaltender Casey DeSmith, and a 2025 second-round selection. As part of the deal, the Penguins also received forwards Rem Pitlick and Dillon Hamaliuk, as well as a 2026 third-round pick.
Karlsson's time in San Jose seemed to be coming to an end this offseason, especially after he won the Norris Trophy in June. He expressed his desire to be traded to a contending team, stating that he wanted to be in a good professional situation. The 33-year-old defenseman had an impressive season, playing in all 82 games and scoring 25 goals while adding 76 assists, surpassing 100 points for the first time in his career.
Despite Karlsson's individual success, the Sharks had a disappointing season, finishing as the second-worst team in the Pacific Division. Their playoff appearance in 2018-19, Karlsson's first year with the team, now seems like a distant memory. Meanwhile, the Penguins narrowly missed out on a postseason berth last season, finishing just behind the Panthers and the Islanders in the standings.
Karlsson will join a Penguins team that will face tough competition in the Metropolitan Division, with the Rangers, Hurricanes, Devils, and Islanders all vying for playoff spots. However, the Penguins have a strong core, including Sidney Crosby, who played in all 82 games last season and recorded 93 points. Evgeni Malkin and Jake Guentzel also played key roles in Pittsburgh's offense. With the addition of Karlsson, the Penguins hope to strengthen their defensive depth and compete for a championship.
Karlsson expressed his desire to win, acknowledging that if the opportunity to do so is not present in San Jose, he is open to exploring other options. Now, with the trade to the Penguins, he has the chance to join a team with a winning mentality and a history of success. The Sharks have granted his request, and it remains to be seen how Karlsson will contribute to the Penguins' quest for a championship.