Ahead of the Sharks’ meeting with the Stars on Wednesday night, Timo Meier had notched 25 goals and 45 points in 45 games. That puts him on pace for about 46 goals and 82 points across an 82-game season. That would surpass the highs he set last year, with 35 goals and 76 points in 77 games. 

That scoring only scratches the surface of Meier’s skill, and why teams should be trying to find ways to acquire the winger. 


What Meier brings to the lineup

Meier’s a high-end offensive creator. Any team looking for a shooting winger should start their search here. The winger excels at driving play up the ice and into the offensive zone with control. And oftentimes, he turns that zone entry into a scoring chance for his team. His offensive creation slants toward rush chances, but Meier can still create off the cycle — and on a team with more two-way support, he’d probably expand on that. 

This year, he’s one of the most frequent shooters in the league and what’s impressive is that he’s not being set up by high-danger passes at a ridiculously high rate, either. It shows the individual effort that goes into his scoring chances. 

And while Meier’s on pace for a career year, there’s a consistency to his game. His impact on the Sharks’ expected-goal generation has been far above average through almost every season. The only down year, 2020-21, was clearly an outlier season. 

What makes Meier all the more valuable is that he’s not a pending unrestricted free agent. A team adds a bonafide top-line caliber winger for more than one postseason run. He fits a team that’s in win-now mode, and a team just starting to push into the playoff mix. This is different from a 27- or 28-year-old who will bring a few years of high-end impact before trailing off or steeply declining. That’s why there’s plenty of interest in him.

Why the Sharks would trade him

If a team had a player like Meier, why in the world would they move him?

The Sharks probably don’t want to, but given their situation, it may make the most sense. San Jose needs, at the very least, a retool. Given their cap situation and prospect pool, a full-blown rebuild could be in their best interest. That means moving impact players to bring back future assets that would thread the needle because the few pending unrestricted free agents they have will only bring back so much. The more talent they move out now, the better their chances of plummeting in the standings this year which betters their chances of winning Connor Bedard. 

While Meier fits the window of a range of teams, the Sharks may be too far removed from the postseason conversation as things stand to legitimately contend during his prime. So it may not make sense to pay the pending restricted free agent what he’s worth, whether it’s the $10 million qualifying he’s due because of his current contract structure, or a lengthy extension. If he were to be a free agent last year, Evolving-Hockey projected an eight-year deal with an average annual value of $8.2 million. The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, on the other hand, gives Meier a market value of $10.8 million. His next contract likely falls between those two values.