The San Jose Sharks are a professional ice hockey team based in San Jose, California. Founded in 1991, the Sharks have become a force to be reckoned with in the NHL, reaching the playoffs in all but six of their 30 seasons. Over the years, the Sharks have boasted some incredible players, but here are the top five best players in team history:
- Joe Thornton - Center
Joe Thornton is undoubtedly the greatest player in San Jose Sharks history. He spent 14 seasons with the Sharks and was the team captain for six of those years. Thornton was a perennial All-Star and one of the league's most dominant centers in his prime. He won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP in 2006 and the Art Ross Trophy as the league's leading scorer in 2006 and 2010. Thornton is the Sharks' all-time leader in assists (804) and ranks second in points (1,055).
- Patrick Marleau - Left Wing
Patrick Marleau is another Sharks legend, spending 19 seasons with the team over two separate stints. Marleau is the Sharks' all-time leader in games played (1,551), goals (518), and points (1,102). He was a six-time All-Star and was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team in 2009. Marleau helped lead the Sharks to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance in 2016.
- Brent Burns - Defenseman
Brent Burns has been a key player for the Sharks since he was acquired in a trade from the Minnesota Wild in 2011. He has been one of the league's top-scoring defensemen, winning the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman in 2017. Burns has been named to six All-Star teams and has been a finalist for the Norris Trophy three times. He is a dangerous offensive threat and is one of the league's top power-play quarterbacks.
- Evgeni Nabokov - Goaltender
Evgeni Nabokov spent 10 seasons as the Sharks' starting goaltender and is the franchise leader in wins (293) and shutouts (50). Nabokov was a three-time All-Star and was a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the league's top goaltender in 2008. He helped lead the Sharks to the Western Conference Final in 2004, where they lost to the Calgary Flames.
- Logan Couture - Center
Logan Couture has been one of the Sharks' top players since he made his debut with the team in 2009. He has been a clutch performer in the playoffs, leading the team in goals during their run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016. Couture has been named to two All-Star teams and was a finalist for the Selke Trophy as the league's top defensive forward in 2019. He is a key leader on the current Sharks team and figures to be a top player for years to come.
In conclusion, the San Jose Sharks have had many great players over the years, but these five players stand out as the best in franchise history. From Thornton's dominance at center to Marleau's longevity and Burns' offensive prowess, these players have all left an indelible mark on the Sharks organization. Nabokov's excellence in net and Couture's clutch performances round out this impressive list of top Sharks players.