San Jose Sharks get three pending RFA’s below contract – Every day Democrat

SAN JOSE – The Sharks announced the signings of three of their restricted free agents Monday, including forward Jonathan Dahlen, who appears set to challenge for an NHL roster spot in the fall after he lit up the Swedish Allsvenskan league the past two seasons.

The Sharks signed Dahlen and defenseman Nicolas Meloche to one-year deals and forward Jeffrey Viel to a two-year deal. All three contracts carry an average annual value of $750,000, according to a source. Dahlen’s deal is one-way, and both Viel and Meloche will be on two-way contracts.

Originally acquired by the Sharks from the Vancouver Canucks in Feb. 2019, Dahlen has spent the last two seasons with Timra IK in the Allsvenskan. This year, Dahlen, 23, had 71 points in 45 regular-season games as he was named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Dahlen then led Timra to the Allsvenskan championship, helping them get promoted to the top-tier Swedish Hockey League.

Dahlen, a second-round draft pick by the Ottawa Senators in 2016, had finished the three-year entry-level contract he signed with the Canucks in April 2017.

Now that he’s more than three years removed from when he signed his entry-level contract, Dahlen would need to pass through waivers to be loaned to the AHL. Still, there’s no guarantee the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Dahlen will be in the Sharks’ opening night lineup right out of training camp.

Although he had 148 points in 96 games with Timra, Dahlen may need time to re-adjust to the North American style and adapt to coach Bob Boughner’s system after he competed in a lower-tier, more wide-open league the last two years. In 57 AHL games in the 2018-19 season, Dahlen had a combined 14 goals and 33 points with Utica and San Jose. He has yet to make his NHL debut.

“Jonathan went back to Sweden this past year with goals of being the captain for his team and winning the championship in the Allsvenskan,” Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “He delivered on his promises by being the MVP and leading scorer in the league and matured in his path to success. He will take this experience he has earned and challenge for a spot in the NHL.”

Viel, 24, had 23 penalty minutes in 11 games for the Sharks last season, his third as pro, as he split time between the AHL and NHL. He had three fights in his first six NHL games as he averaged 7:16 of ice time per game.

“Jeff showed his compete level last season, playing a hard-nosed, physical game,” Wilson said. “He is a player who has great character and leadership qualities, being a former captain of his junior team, and we feel that he will push to make the jump to the NHL. We are happy to have him in our organization.”

Meloche, 23, played in seven games with the Sharks, including his NHL debut on Jan. 14 when San Jose opened its season against the Arizona Coyotes. He also played 29 games with the Barracuda, collecting nine assists.

“Nicolas is a steady, reliable presence on the blueline,” Wilson said. “He continued his development last season with the Barracuda and the Sharks and improved over the course of the season. We feel that he is ready to compete for a spot in our lineup in the NHL.”

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