Timo Meier might be the biggest steal of the offseason to date. Not too often is the word steal used when talking about a player a team already had under their control, but in this case, he is an absolute steal. For those of you unfamiliar with how good he actually is here is just some raw totals. Last season the 22-year-old scored a whopping 66 points in 78 games. He also potted 30 goals in this campaign which is a feat in and of itself. 46 of his 66 also came in 5v5 play which was better than the likes of Eichel, Duchene, and Seguin who all own a cap hit of over 8 million or above.
Another main aspect to Meier’s game that is very appealing is his play driving ability 5v5. I talk about Corsi for relative to teammates a lot because I believe that it really captures how a player can drive play and paired with a player’s quality of competition it gives a better understanding for how good they actually are. Meier’s is 2.0 which means that when he is on the ice, he generates 2 more shots 5v5 compared to his team. He also plays against very stiff competition every night playing on the first line. He’s playing top 5v5 minutes against the best guys and producing at a prominent rate. A guy like this should, in theory, be making over 8 million and the fact that he’s 22 makes his case even better.
The one downside about him is that his shooting percentages are below average. So, when he does get the chance to take a shot, he’s not always picking corners. With that being said he’s still a young player. If he works on his accuracy during the summer and even converts at the pace of an average NHLer he’ll be on track for a massive payday in 4 years. His accuracy paired with more Power Play 1 time will produce even bulkier point totals to help his negotiations out.
This contract helps the Sharks out more than the average fan realizes. They just signed a top-line power play 1 forward for only 6 million per year on the cap. Not to mention the Kevin Labanc signing which was 1 year at 1 million on the cap. Kevin Labanc scored 56 points this past season and yes that wasn’t a typo was paid 1 million. He did play on the power play and recorded 20 points with the man up, so he totaled 36 points 5v5 which is still above average especially playing on the third line. His shooting percentage, as opposed to Meier’s, is actually better so theoretically with more ice time and better chances he could produce more goals, however, I am not saying he is even close to the player Meier is at this point. I am saying that he is a very valuable player that probably deserves more than 1 million. Another season like this will certainly earn him a substantial increase in AAV next season. Meier coupled with LaBanc (pictured above, photo by Drew King) and the subtraction of cap nightmare Justin Braun will help the Sharks maintain their production on the ice as well as preserving some extra cap for a couple of moves to fill out the roster. With the great offseason they’ve had they should be a cup contender once again this year.