Sharks goaltender Martin Jones has been a hot topic as of late.
Jones’ stay in San Jose lasted longer than most people thought, including his older brother Jordan. In 2008, Jordan watched his younger brother go off to the Los Angeles Kings’ training camp as an undrafted 18-year-old goalie and infered it would be a nice, but short, experience.
“We definitely were all only expecting it to be for a couple days and he’d go and see what happens,” Jordan told Curtis Pashelka of San Jose Mercury News. “But he ended up staying a lot longer than we expected and making it a lot longer than a lot of the guys there.”
It seems like Jones has made the most out of his opportunities, but does he belong in the discussion of the Sharks’ next franchise goaltender?
Jones went 27-15-4 with an impressive .915 save percentage, 2.30 goals-against average and two shutouts in 47 starts so far as the Sharks (32-18-4) hold onto first place in the Pacific Division.
Sharks backup goaltender Aaron Dell went 6-2 with a .928 save percentage, 1.97 goals-against average and one shutout in eight starts so far. Dell is a handy fallback option just in case if Jones goes off the rails. However, it’s possible for the Sharks to shelve Dell if they want to take a chance and call up Troy Grosenick from the Barracuda.
Grosenick got a taste of the NHL in the 2014-15 season when he made two starts and finished with an even 1-1 record with 55 saves, 1.53 goals-against average and one shutout. Since 2015-16, Grosenick recorded a 26-18-5 record in 55 games with the Barracuda. Grosenick also has a whopping six shutouts in the 2016-17 season thus far.
However, Grosenick still needs time to develop in order to succeed in the NHL and the Barracuda provide a comfortable place for the 27-year-old to sharpen his skills.
In modern times, Jones is the real deal. The Sharks got a steal when the Bruins sent Jones to San Jose in exchange for prospect Sean Kuraly and a 2016 first round draft pick. The rival Kings were denied of potential success when Boston acquired Jones as a part of the Milan Lucic trade.
Look at what happened in modern times. In 2016, the Sharks advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final in franchise history. Virtually nobody picked the Sharks to dominate the Western Conference. Jones was a major part of the Sharks’ success in the finals. He saved his team by making 44 saves along with two goals against to force a Game 6 against the Penguins at SAP Center. Unfortunately, the Sharks lost in six games, but the Pens were the better team and deserved Lord Stanley.
Jones has made his mark on the NHL world. If he remains healthy and continues to come up clutch with big saves, he’ll remain relevant for years to come. He’s the Sharks’ next franchise goaltender.