San Jose Sharks acquire Devan Dubnyk from Minnesota Wild


Devan Dubnyk is now a member of the San Jose Sharks, and general manager Doug Wilson has to hope his new goalie can bounce back.

Dubnyk himself has no doubts.

“I’ve definitely struggled with questions all year,” Dubnyk said on Monday, “but I know for a fact that I certainly haven’t forgotten how to stop the puck, and I have a ton of confidence that I can get my game back. back, and even above where he was.

The Sharks are hoping they’ve taken action to correct two of their biggest weaknesses from last season – goaltenders and forward depth – as they acquired Dubnyk and winger Ryan Donato in separate deals on Monday. with the Minnesota Wild.

The Sharks sent in a fifth-round pick in 2022 in exchange for Dubnyk and a seventh-round pick in 2022, and acquired Donato, 24, for a third-round pick in 2021.

Wilson didn’t have to give up his picks for this year’s NHL Draft, which begins Tuesday. The Sharks’ top three picks are the 31st, 34th and 55th overall.

“It was important for us to keep them,” Wilson said.

Dubnyk, 34, has just had his worst season in years, having a 12-15-2 record and .890 save percentage in 30 regular season games. He also didn’t start any of the Wild’s four playoff games, as he lost the No. 1 position to former Shark Alex Stalock.

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It was also a tumultuous year off the ice for Dubnyk, who missed part of the season to be with his wife Jennifer full-time as she faced a serious medical situation.

“Fortunately, everyone is fine,” Dubnyk said. “and we had the chance to reset and bring things back to normal.”

With this episode behind him, Dubnyk believes he can regain the form that has made him one of the NHL’s best goaltenders for the past decade.

The 6-foot-6 Dubnyk has played 520 regular-season games in 11 seasons, including 328 games in the past five seasons and more with the Wild. Dubnyk was an NHL star and Vézina Trophy finalist in 2015.

From 2014 to 2019, Dubnyk had 179 wins, the third most in the NHL at that time.

“There are a lot of times that unfortunately the guys go off the track and have a year a little below their standards,” Wilson said. “In this case, it was something that was beyond his control. He cares very much for his family and his wife to make sure she was in a wonderful place. From talking to him the other day, I know they are both very excited to join this organization.

Dubnyk attended the Wild’s training camp in July and played an exhibition game before the official start of the playoffs. He was happy to be on the ice at least again after such a hectic few months.

“I was excited to come back from hiatus to make the playoffs,” Dubnyk said. “I felt like I was able to have a clearer mind and come back to what I was feeling (before). Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to play, but it was nice to go back to training camp and feel like I was back to myself and with a clear head.

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Wilson could have looked for a new goalie this offseason in a number of ways. Several are expected to become unrestricted free agents later this week, including Islanders’ Thomas Greiss, Chicago’s Corey Crawford and Calgary’s Cam Talbot.

But these gatekeepers might be able to demand multi-year agreements. By acquiring a veteran goaltender just a year away from his contract, the Sharks are able to give potential goaltender Alexei Melnichuk, 22, more time to develop without blocking his entry into the NHL for the 2021-22 season.

Dubnyk also possesses the qualities the Sharks were looking for – a veteran goaltender with No.1 experience who can rival Martin Jones. The Sharks also needed a proven goaltender ahead of what could be a tight schedule next season.

Dubnyk also has a good relationship with goaltending coach Evgeni Nabokov, who was instrumental in the evaluation process as the Sharks sought an upgrade from the Jones-Aaron Dell tandem who struggled during the last two seasons.

Jones and Dell combined for the second-worst team save percentage in the NHL last season at .895.

“We were looking for a real quality goalkeeper who could give us a quality tandem,” Wilson said. “We also know Devan is a strong and healthy guy who unfortunately had to deal with some personal issues last season. He is very motivated.

“(Nabokov) has seen me a lot and I’m delighted to have new hands on me to polish some things and just fine-tune different things that need to happen to take this next step,” Dubnyk said. “It’s nice to have that familiarity there with someone who knows me well, both as a person and as a goalie. ”

Last season, Donato scored 14 goals and 23 points for Minnesota averaging 10 minutes and 38 seconds of ice time per game. All of his 14 goals were tied, as he finished tied for the team lead in this category with Kevin Fiala, Eric Staal and Luke Kunin.

Assuming he’s comfortable on his back wing, Donato, a left-hander, could be in line for a bigger role with the Sharks, who need players to play on the right wing.

“I want to be a 200-footer, not just a guy who creates offense,” Donato said. “I want to be a guy who is an offensive threat and is as good on defense as he is on offense.”


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