The San Jose Sharks have added some depth on their defense, signing free agent Fredrik Claesson to a one-year, two-way contract, according to CapFriendly. The deal includes a $700K NHL salary as well as $200K in the AHL, although $300K is guaranteed.
The 28-year-old Claesson has spent quite a bit of time in the NHL, having appeared already in 155 contests, but will be joining his fifth franchise already, including four teams in the last two years. A talented player, known for his hard slapshot, Claesson played 113 games with the Ottawa Senators, the team who drafted him, but due to defensive concerns, the team opted not to offer him a qualifying offer. He signed with the New York Rangers in July 2018 and played 37 games for them, but also wasn’t given a qualifying offer. He then signed with the Carolina Hurricanes last season, but never played for the NHL squad. He was traded at the trade deadline to the New Jersey Devils in the Sami Vatanen deal and played five games for New Jersey before play was suspended. The Devils did not bring him back.
Claesson’s addition could suggest that the team needs depth in their system. Top-four defenseman Radim Simek said several days ago that his knee continues to hurt from last season. The addition of Claesson would suggest the Sharks are worried about Simek and hope that Claesson can fill a void in their system. If Simek goes down for any time, it’s likely that second-year defenseman Mario Ferraro would move up into the top-four, opening a spot on the third pairing, where Claesson would at least get a shot.