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Avalanche acquire Matt Nieto, Ryan Merkley from Sharks for Jacob MacDonald, Martin Kaut

The Sharks traded forward Matt Nieto and defenseman Ryan Merkley to the Avalanche in exchange for defenseman Jacob MacDonald and forward Martin Kaut, San Jose general manager Mike Grier announced Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Nieto, 30, joined the Sharks prior to the 2020-21 season and recorded 109 points (47 goals and 62 assists) in 364 games with the team.
  • Merkley, 22, appeared in 39 games for San Jose in the 2021-22 season, recording six points (one goal and five assists). He has registered 14 assists through 30 games with the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda this season.
  • MacDonald, 29, had 12 points (two goals and 10 assists) through 76 games with Florida and Colorado.
  • Kaut, 23, had three points (one goal and two assists) in 27 NHL games and eight points (five goals and three assists) in 10 AHL games with the Colorado Eagles this season.

Athletics‘s instant analysis:

What the sharks win with Kaut, MacDonald

This marks the end of Kaut’s Colorado tenure. The 2018 first-round pick never reached the level he and Colorado hoped for with the Avalanche, playing in just 47 games. Perhaps a change of scenery will serve him well. Primarily a defenseman, MacDonald is an NHL-AHL tweener who has offensive instincts. — Baugh

How Nieto, Merkley strengthen the Avalanche

Nieto brings depth to Colorado that they are comfortable with. He played 251 games for the Avalanche and brings scoring depth. Merkley, meanwhile, is fourth on Scott Wheeler’s Sharks prospect rankings. — Baugh

What they say

“Jacob is a versatile veteran player who has been an All-Star at the American Hockey League level and will add depth to our NHL line-up,” Grier said in a statement Wednesday.

Grier added, “Martin is a former first-round pick who strengthens our group of young, developing forwards at the American Hockey League level.”

Required reading

  • Inside Jared Bednar’s ‘unbelievable’ path to the Avalanche coaching record
  • 25 Avalanche Sightings: A Vancouver Circus, the Saddledome’s Weird Jump, More

(Photo: Brandon Magnus / NHLI via Getty Images)

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