The San Jose Sharks will be sellers during this year’s NHL trade deadline. They are near the bottom of the league with a bleak-looking future and a less-than-ideal cap situation. Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson is the likeliest to be traded, but there is another name to keep an eye on.

Timo Meier is a restricted free agent at the end of the season. The Sharks star has 26 goals and 48 points in 50 games this year and is only 26 years old. One may wonder why San Jose would even consider trading a player of his caliber.

The word of the day in this situation is timeline. The Sharks need a retool at best and a full-scale rebuild at worst. Given their situation, Meier doesn’t fit their timeline for when they will be competitive again.

San Jose certainly could hold onto the 26-year-old and sign him to an extension. However, Meier projects to receive a huge payday. With big salaries already tied up in Karlsson, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Logan Couture, and Tomas Hertl, a Meier extension could be tough to fit under the cap.

All things considered, who could be interested in the impending restricted free agent? With no further ado, here are the best trade destinations for San Jose Sharks star Timo Meier.

3) Detroit Red Wings

This move does not provide Meier an immediate chance to compete. The Red Wings have shown some improvement, but they are inconsistent. As a result, they are near the bottom of their division.

However, Detroit is a team whose competitive timeline matches up with Meier’s prime. They have a young core in place with Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider in the NHL. And Detroit has Marco Kasper, William Wallinder, Simon Edvinsson, and Sebastian Cossa on the way.

Immediately, Detroit acquiring Meier helps improve their goal-scoring. Detroit is 23rd in goals for and goals for per game this season. The Red Wings top two goal scorers, Raymond and Dylan Larkin, both have 15 goals this season.

General manager Steve Yzerman is not afraid of making a big move at the deadline. Only time will tell if he pulls one off by the 2023 NHL trade deadline.

2) Seattle Kraken

Live and breathe sports?

🚨 Get viral graphics, memes, rumors and trending sports news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Kraken are one of the better teams in the Western Conference this season. And they are linked to some of the biggest names during this NHL trade deadline, including Meier.

The Kraken are the NHL’s youngest franchise. After a poor inaugural season, Seattle currently sit second place in a tight Pacific Division title race. Six points separate the first-place Los Angeles Kings and the fifth-place Calgary Flames.

Seattle can establish themselves as the cream of the crop in the division with a big move at the deadline. Enter Timo Meier, who immediately becomes a top-line player for the Kraken.

Pairing Meier with rising superstar Matty Beniers takes their offense to the next level. Seattle has the cap space available to extend the Sharks star as well, meaning the Kraken are better now and in the future after a Meier trade.

1) New Jersey Devils

Finally, we have the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are one of the Eastern Conference’s best teams, holding the third-best points percentage in the conference.

The Devils are in a fight with the Carolina Hurricanes for the top of the Metropolitan Division. There’s also the Boston Bruins, who are running roughshod over the entire NHL.

If New Jersey want to compete with the two aforementioned teams, Meier is a must. Especially given their past history of striking out on elite forwards in the past.

New Jersey tried for Alex DeBrincat and Johnny Gaudreau last offseason. However, DeBrincat went to the Ottawa Senators in a trade, and Gaudreau signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Devils brought in Ondrej Palat, who is a valuable veteran presence. But they need a more impact winger, which Meier represents. Making an extension work with Jesper Bratt due for a raise will be a challenge.

Despite that, Meier is the piece the Devils need to go to that next level. If they can make a deal work, New Jersey would be the best destination for Timo Meier this NHL trade deadline season.