While the San Jose Sharks have been in an expected downturn for the past few seasons following playoff berths in all but one season since 2003-2004, which includes a run to the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals, there haven’t been too many bright spots to look at for fans of the team.
The 2021-2022 San Jose Sharks will most likely miss out on playoff action for another year. There has been an emerging star waiting to break out in San Jose, his name is Timo Meier.
Meier was drafted by the Sharks with the 9th overall pick in the 2015 draft, which featured the likes of Connor McDavid, Jack Eichel and Mitch Marner being drafted in the Top 5. The 2015 draft featured some great talent being drafted with picks in the mid-first round including the likes of Zach Werenski, Mikko Rantanen, Mathew Barzal, Kyle Connor and Thomas Chabot.
It could be a stretch to call a former top 10 overall pick a breakout star, there is always a chance that expectations for a player could be too high and they crack under the pressure, especially in a market that expects success year in year out.
Since Meier made his debut in the 2016-2017 season until the end of the 2020-2021 season he put up 188 points in 317 games, which is good for a 0.59 PPG pace, which is respectable, albeit a little low for players drafted in the top 10.
This year he is having the breakout many have been calling for the last couple of years as he has 47 points in 41 games, good for a 1.14 PPG pace, or 94 points in 82 games. That would smash his current point record of 66 points in 2018-2019, all while potentially becoming only the second player in Sharks history who could reach 100 points in a season (Joe Thornton 2006-2007) if his pace improves.
The big Swiss winger is forming dynamic chemistry with linemates Tomas Hertl and Alexander Barabanov as that line is soaring this season.
With one more year left on his 4 year, $24 million contract ($6 million AAV) and with his current point production he could be in line for a hefty pay raise come next summer.
Another area of Meier’s game that has seen improvement this year is his scoring touch. In 41 games he has 21 goals, putting him on pace for a 42 goal season. With a previous career high of 30 goals in 78 games in ‘18-’19, he could break his previous record and potentially hit his first career 40 goal season, and this all comes off of his team leading 168 shots taken this year.
Meier is more of a volume shooter with his shooting percentage at 12.5%, and if this number improves he could be in for a few extra goals than he should.
Keep an eye out on Timo Meier in the coming seasons as his success, as well as the success of Tomas Hertl can bring the Sharks back into contention sooner, rather than later.