San Jose Sharks Sign Matt Nieto

The Sign Jose Sharks have signed Matt Nieto for 2020-21. The deal is for one-year and will carry a cap hit of $700K for the Sharks. The team announced the move Tuesday morning.

Sharks Sign Matt Nieto

Nieto was an important part of the Colorado Avalanche‘s fourth line in 2019-20. The veteran winger scored eight goals and 21 points in 70 games while averaging 13:30 of ice time. He was a very good possession skater with a 51.4 percent Corsi For despite starting 59.1 percent of the time in the defensive zone. Nieto was also used heavily on the penalty kill. His average of 2:21 on the penalty kill, the leader among Avalanche forwards. He was an enthusiastic and capable defensive forward no matter what Colorado asked him to do.

The Sharks originally selected Nieto in the second round of the 2011 Draft, so the 27-year-old is returning home. He first debuted with San Jose in the 2013-14 season with 10 goals and 24 points in 66 games. The team featured Nieto through 2016-17 before Colorado claimed him off waivers. Overall, the 5’11” Californian has a respectable 62 goals and 151 points in 472 games across seven years.

What This Means for the Future

Nieto should be a quality signing for a rebuilding Sharks squad. He will probably take over a spot somewhere on the team’s bottom-six and feature heavily in defensive situations and with the penalty-killing unit. He may not be a great scorer or especially physical but he is a cheap, effective skater with a lot of energy. His cap hit of just $700 thousand is a tremendous value.

San Jose also brought back Patrick Marleau on a minimum deal, showing they are interested in returning some old fan-favourites. The team only has $2.35 million in remaining cap space after the Marleau and Nieto deals. That will limit how many more moves they can make but trades are still a possibility.
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