It's Canucks, Blues or 'Hawks in first round

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It's Canucks, Blues or 'Hawks in first round

Its down to three possibilities for the Sharks in the first round of the NHL playoffs.

San Jose will either travel to Vancouver or St. Louis for Games 1 and 2 of the first round, or it will host Chicago when the postseason gets underway next week. Chicago, by virtue of its win over Detroit on Saturday afternoon, is now locked into the sixth seed.

The Sharks would capture the third seed with a win over Los Angeles tonight coupled with a Coyotes regulation loss in Minnesota.

The Sharks had the most success against the Blackhawks among the three possibilities. They finished 2-1-1 against Chicago in the regular season, winning both games at home. Their two losses in the Windy City were by a single goal each, and both were in the second of back-to-back games for San Jose.

Against Vancouver, whom the Sharks have not seen since Jan. 21, the Sharks gained three of a possible eight points. San Jose was 0-1-1 at home against the Canucks, and 1-1 in Vancouver, with the lone win coming via the shootout.

The Blues may be the team San Jose wants to avoid. The Sharks were a miserable 0-4 against them, and were outscored 11-3 in the process. San Jose failed to score a single goal in its two trips to St. Louis.

Below is the game-by-game breakdown against the three potential playoff opponents.

Sharks vs. Blackhawks
Nov. 23 vs. Chicago: Won 1-0
Dec. 11 @ Chicago: Lost 3-2 (OT)
Jan. 15 @ Chicago: Lost 4-3
Feb. 10 vs. Chicago: Won 5-3

Sharks vs. Canucks
Nov. 26 vs. Vancouver: Lost 3-2
Dec. 28 vs. Vancouver: Lost 3-2 (OT)
Jan. 2 @ Vancouver: Won 3-2 (SO)
Jan. 21 @ Vancouver: Lost 4-3

Sharks vs. Blues
Oct. 15 vs. St. Louis: Lost 4-2
Dec. 10 @ St. Louis: Lost 1-0
Feb. 12 @ St. Louis: Lost 3-0
March 3 vs. St. Louis: Lost 3-1

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

Sharks ink pair of European prospects

The Sharks officially announced the signing of defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract on Tuesday, as well as Swedish forward Filip Sandberg to a two-year contract.

Simek’s deal was reported on Monday and confirmed by NBC Sports California. The contract is valued at $925,000 for the 2017-18 season, a source confirmed. The 24-year-old defenseman spent the past five seasons in the Czech league, posting 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating last season. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHL website.

In 211 career games in the Czech league, he posted 91 points (37g, 54a) and a plus-51 rating.

"Radim is a quick transition defenseman who drives the play offensively and plays with a physical edge," general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. "We like his offensive instincts especially on special teams and think his game will translate well in North America."

Sandberg, 22, has 71 points (25g, 46a) in 204 career games in the Swedish league. Last season, he posted 25 points (8g, 17a) and a plus-17 rating in 52 games.

Sandberg is set to make $742,500 in 2017-18 and $792,500 in 2018-19, a source confirmed.

The five-foot-nine, 180-pound Stockholm native also competed in the World Jr. Championships in 2013 and 2014, helping Sweden win silver both years.

"Filip is a very creative player who sees the ice well and can create offense in limited space," Wilson said. "He plays a high-pressure, puck-pursuit game and his battle level is something we have been impressed with, especially against older players. We are excited for him to join our organization."

The contracts for Simek and Forsberg are two-way deals, allowing them to play for the AHL Barracuda next season.

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

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AP

Sharks sign defenseman from Czech Republic

The Sharks have signed Czech defenseman Radim Simek to a one-year contract.

The two-way deal, originally reported by Radio Praha in the Czech Republic, is expected to be announced by the Sharks later this week, according to a source. Simek just finished competing for his country in the 2017 IIHF World Championships, skating in all eight games for the Czech Republic while posting one goal, one assist, 11 shots and a minus-two rating.

Simek, 24, has spent the last five seasons in the Czech League. In 42 games for Liberec in 2016-17, he posted 24 points (11g, 13a) and 30 penalty minutes with a plus-18 rating. A left-handed shot, he is listed at five-foot-11 and 196 pounds on the IIHF website.

The New York Rangers were also interested in Simek, according to the report.

Simek will likely begin next season with the AHL Barracuda.

The Sharks have signed a number of free agents out of Europe in recent seasons, including Joonas Donskoi in 2015 and Marcus Sorensen and Tim Heed last May.