SAN JOSE—The San Jose Sharks have extended the contracts of right wings Joonas Donskoi for 2 years and Melker Karlsson for 3 years. Both players were set to become restricted free agents this summer.
Donskoi, a native of Raahe, Finland, first signed with the Sharks as a free agent on May 19, 2015. The 25 year-old forward is 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds. His new contract has an average annual value of $1.9 million.
In 61 games this past season (his second in the NHL), Donskoi attained six goals and 11 assists for a total of 17 points along with 10 penalty minutes. He posted four power play goals and ranked fourth on the team. Additionally, he ranked 8th on the team for a plus-83 shot attempt differential.
Donskoi has appeared in 137 NHL games thus far, in which he has posted 53 points (comprised of 17 goals and 36 assists) and 202 shots on goal (SOG). He was appointed the “Sharks Rookie of the Year” in the 2015-2016 season.
In 24 playoff games, he totaled 12 points (six goals and six assists) and became the sixth NHL rookie in history to score a game-winning goal in overtime during the Stanley Cup Final, as he did in Game 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins (which was also the first game-winning goal in Sharks franchise history in the Stanley Cup Final).
Donskoi has represented his home country in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, the 2015 World Championships, and the World Jr. Championships in both 2011 and 2012.
“Joonas plays a solid two-way game, combining his skill and creativity with an aggressive, hard-working effort in all three zones. He plays the game the way we want to play as a team, and we feel he has only scratched the surface of his abilities. He battled through multiple injuries last season and we look forward to having him healthy at training camp this season,” shared General Manager Doug Wilson.
Karlsson hails from Lycksele, Sweden, standing at 6 feet tall and weighing 180 pounds. The then free agent signed with the Sharks on May 30, 2014.
Before competing in North America, Karlsson posted 66 points (comprised of 31 goals and 35 assists) and 46 penalty minutes in 216 career games with Skelleftea AIK of the Swedish Hockey League (SHL). He helped the team win the SHL Championship in back-to-back seasons. He ended with the best regular-season record in the league in each of his final two campaigns in Sweden. Karlsson helped his team reach the SHL Final in each of his last four seasons.
This past season, Karlsson attained 11 goals and 11 assists for a total of 22 points along with 73 shots on goal. He also set a career-peaking plus/minus (+7) and 22 penalty minutes in 67 games with the Sharks, another career peak. He finished T-5th in goals, T-6th in plus/minus, T-1st with two shorthanded goals, and third amongst Sharks forwards with 59 blocked shots. In addition, at 1:34, he skated the third-most shorthanded minutes per game amongst all Sharks forwards.
In 185 NHL career games with the Sharks, Karlsson has attained 65 points (comprised of 34 goals and 31 assists) and a plus-9 rating. He was appointed the “Sharks Rookie of the Year” in the 2014-2015 season after ranking seventh amongst all NHL rookies in goals and T-15th in points. He tied a franchise-peaking rookie goal scoring streak, obtaining a goal in five back-to-back contests. He added three goals and six assists (totaling nine points) in 30 NHL playoff games.
Wilson contended, “Melker plays an up-tempo, high-energy game and brings flexibility to our lineup wherever he plays. His tenacious style of play fits our team perfectly, and we feel confident using him in many different situations. He kills penalties, can play with high-end players and brings an honest effort night in and night out. We’re excited he has made this commitment to the organization.”