Sharks pass on Bieksa, opt for minor moves

As the NHL Draft came and went, the San Jose Sharks seemed in the middle of trade rumors but departed Ft. Lauderdale Saturday without making any major moves.

Instead of acquiring defenseman Kevin Bieksa from the Canucks for a second-round pick, which appeared to be so likely that Bieksa was reportedly looking at homes in the Bay Area, the Sharks used that pick to trade up to 31st overall and draft defenseman Jeremy Roy.

Roy, 18, is a native of Quebec and was projected to go late in the first round. But Roy, described by Eliteprospects.com as a “gifted two-way defenseman that establishes his presence on the ice through playing authoritative hockey” and has drawn comparisons to Duncan Keith, fell to the second round and the Sharks paid up to nab him, sending next year’s second round pick and a sixth round selection in 2017 to the Avalanche.

The Sharks made nine selections in all: Two goaltenders, three wingers, one center, and three defensemen. They made a couple of trades toward the end of the draft, sending the rights to goaltender Antti Niemi to the Stars for a seventh round selection and acquiring defenseman Patrick McNally from the Canucks for the 210th pick.

On Monday, Niemi inked a three-year deal with the Stars worth $13.5 million, officially leaving the Sharks without a starting goaltender. They were linked to Rangers’ backup Cam Talbot during the draft, but Talbot was instead dealt to the Oilers. GM Doug Wilson is staying patient, however, contending that there are goaltenders he will target via trade.

But he wasted no time in re-signing defenseman Brenden Dillon, acquired mid-season from the Stars for Jason Demers. Dillon, just 24, will make upwards of $16 million for five years, according to CSN California. The left-handed shot had two goals and seven assists in 60 games with the Sharks last season.

The Sharks also re-signed forward Melker Karlsson, defenseman Karl Stollery, and goaltender Troy Groesnick. Karlsson and Groesnick received two-year deals; Stollery was signed for one year.

In all, it has been much ado about nothing for the Sharks in the early stages of the offseason — a bunch of rumors and speculation but in reality just many new draftees, minor trades and re-signings.