San Jose Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson will miss the remainder of the season with a broken left thumb. The team made the announcement Saturday.
The broken thumb requires surgery.
Karlsson suffered the injury Friday during the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
This situation makes things go from bad to worse for San Jose, who also lost Tomas Hertl for the season and went through a coaching change in November. The playoffs are probably not in the cards, with a 25-28-4 record leaving them with 54 points – 10 back on the Arizona Coyotes.
Karlsson leads all Sharks in scoring this season and averages more ice time than any other skater on the team apart from Brent Burns. He’s averaging 0.71 points per game for a total of 40 points in 56 games, but he’s a minus-15 overall and has just one power-play goal.
Karlsson has struggled to get going in San Jose, posting 45 points in 53 games last season. He’s yet to suit up for a full season in southern California.
Drafted 15th overall by the Ottawa Senators in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Karlsson has thus far played his best hockey in the nation’s capital. His best season to date was a point-per-game clip in 2015-2016. He also scored 21 goals in his 2014-2015 campaign, with six of those coming on the power play.
But now, injuries have kept the 29-year-old from achieving that level of offensive proficiency. He’s still managed to top the leaderboard in San Jose, but it’s no secret something’s off.
Karlsson is expected to make a full recovery from this injury and the Sharks are charting him as being ready to turn for training camp in 2020.
For now, San Jose’s turning to defenceman Jacob Middleton from the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda. Drafted into by the Los Angeles Kings in the seventh round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Stratford native has one assist in seven big-league games.
Photo credit: USATSI