The Sharks have issued qualifying offers to four of their restricted free agents.
Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto, Dylan DeMelo and Ryan Carpenter were all qualified by the club, while forward Jeremy Morin, acquired from the Maple Leafs as part of the deal for James Reimer on Feb. 27, was among the players not qualified and will therefore become an unrestricted free agent.
The 22-year-old Hertl is due for a sizable raise on his just-expired entry-level contract that paid him $925,000 annually. The former 17th overall pick in the 2012 draft has 102 points in 200 career NHL games (49g, 53a), including a stellar second half this season in which he thrived on the left wing with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski on the Sharks’ top line.
Nieto, 23, made $792,000 in the final year of his deal but has struggled with his consistency in his three years in the NHL. He had just 17 points (8g, 9a) in 67 games this season.
DeMelo, 23, whose contract earned him a pro-rated $625,000 at the NHL level this season, was among the team’s more pleasant surprises in the second half as a key contributor on the blue line in 45 games with San Jose. He’s currently sixth on the depth chart among blueliners, with Roman Polak not expected to return.
Morin, 25, had 14 points (5g, 9a) in 18 games with the AHL Barracuda after joining the Sharks organization. In 82 career NHL games with the Blackhawks and Blue Jackets, he has 22 points (10g, 12a).
Others not qualified by the Sharks were right wing Christopher Crane, a seventh round draft pick in 2010, forward Petter Emanuelsson, goalie Joel Rumpel, and center Jeremy Langlois.