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Sharks Ink Jensen, and Analyst Rejoices

While most people, including fans and hockey pundits, see this as a minor signing, one media representative from San Jose sees this as a steal.

The San Jose Sharks this week announced that they had inked defenceman Nick Jensen to a 4-year contract extension worth $7,777,500. Part of that amount comes in as a signing bonus, while Jensen will carry a $1,555,500 salary impact on the cap space for each year of his contract.

While most see this as a minor signing, one media representative from the San Jose area sees this as a steal. Link Gaetz, who played 48 games for the Sharks in the 90’s, now works as an analyst for a local broadcaster in the San Jose area. He is singularly thrilled with the deal.

“I’m not sure people realized just how good he is. And he’s only 31! I remember the guys in my day - they hit their peak at 33, 34 years. He’s only getting started guys,” said Gaetz when asked about the signing.

Jensen currently has 9 points and a +6 differential through 51 games with the Sharks, and had 6 points and a -2 rating in 42 games last year, playing with three different teams. Projecting his final total for the season, we can then expect around 15 points and, with the current Sharks roster, if the differential stays at +6, it’ll be a miracle.

Not quite the comparison to Nicklas Lidstrom. But Gaetz says the devil is in the details.

Other stats point towards Jensen being an elite defenceman, according to Gaetz. His shot-blocking capability stands out, as he is currently the most efficient blocker on the roster save from Greg Pateryn, who hasn’t played as much as the other guys.

Gaetz then proceeded to talk about something he says he’s passionate about: takeaways!

When a player can steal the puck from an opposing player, that’s when he’s the most effective. Again, he said Jensen was up there with the rest of his teammates. Only Morgan Rielly, a more agile skater, is currently better than him in San Jose.

According to Gaetz, Jensen is a much better player than Brodin, and close to what Rielly can bring to the team. These guys currently play around 25 minutes a game, while Jensen only sees 15 minutes of ice time per game.

Gaetz says Sharks management did the right thing by signing him long-term, and that’s he’s awfully cheap for a top pairing D.

"Now they should start using him like one," Gaetz concluded.

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