Friday, May 13 2022

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San Jose Sharks’ Alexander Barabanov (94) and Edmonton Oilers’ Evan Bouchard (75) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game at Edmonton, Alberts, Thursday, April 28, 2022. ( Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via PA)

PA

The San Jose Sharks locked up two of their potential free agents early in the offseason, agreeing to two-year deals in forward Alexander Barabanov and defenseman Jaycob Megna.

Interim general manager Joe Will announced the deals Monday as the Sharks prioritized retaining two players who were due to enter the open market in July.

Barabanov’s deal is worth $5 million over two years and Megna’s is worth $1.625 million.

Barabanov, 27, has spent most of the season on San Jose’s front two lines, mostly playing center Tomas Hertl. He had 10 goals and 29 assists in 70 games in his second NHL season.

Barabanov played 22 games in 2020-21 for Toronto and San Jose after playing the previous seven seasons in the KHL in Russia.

“Alexander has had a really good first full year in the NHL, which shows he’s a consistent point producer and playmaker,” Will said. “Combined with his courage and hard work, he has the potential to improve on his success from last year.”

Megna, 29, played a career-high 44 games this season, registering two goals, six assists and playing solid defense.

After splitting time between the AHL and NHL the first half of the season, Megna has played consistently for the Sharks over the past seven weeks and has shown enough that they want to bring him back next season.

The moves come as the Sharks enter an offseason of uncertainty after missing the playoffs for a third straight season for the first time in franchise history.

Longtime general manager Doug Wilson stepped down for medical reasons during the season and Will is leading the team as the search for a full-time general manager continues.

There are also questions about the status of coach Bob Boughner, who has a 67-85-23 record since taking over from Peter DeBoer in December 2019.

Boughner’s status may not be resolved until a new general manager is hired.

The Sharks still have several potential restricted free agents, but no other players are eligible for unrestricted free agency.

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