Why trade Weatherby for Criscuolo?

The San Jose Sharks traded Jasper Wetherby to the Detroit Red Wings for AHL veteran Kyle Criscolo.

Weatherby, 24, was a 2018 fourth-round pick by the San Jose Sharks. He made his NHL debut last season, tallying five goals and six assists in 50 games. This season, in a reduced role with the San Jose Barracudas, the 6-foot-4 hasn’t made a huge leap forward with three goals and three assists.

Subscriber Q&A: Weatherby on being chirpy to Marchand, “Brent Burns Is My Spirit Animal” | SJHN +

Criscuolo, 30, was signed from Harvard by the Grand Rapids Griffins in March 2016. The 5-foot-9 center earned an NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabers the following year and has spent most of his career in the AHL, recording 187 points in 335 games over the course of eight seasons. This season with Grand Rapids, substitute captain Griffins has scored five goals and five assists in 28 games.

Criscuolo suited up for 15 NHL contests in parts of two seasons with Buffalo and Detroit, where he notched a pair of assists.

On the surface, it’s an odd trade: Why would you one day trade a 24-year-old prospect for a 30-year-old AHL veteran?

By the way, Weatherby didn’t ask for a deal. That was my first thought, but Weatherby’s agent, Pat Bryson, said they didn’t.

Instead, this deal provides immediate assistance to the Barracuda.

Weatherby, a low starting NHL prospect, has been struggling this season. You may not miss it either way if you are the big club.

“I thought he was trying to play heavier and harder,” an NHL scout outside the San Jose Sharks organization told San Jose Hockey Now. “He wondered how much offensive upside there was, but I still think he has a chance as a fourth-line role player because of the size. He’s probably a deep guy and fills the top at the end of the day.”

Criscuolo hasn’t been as productive this season, but he’s considered a solid tackler in the AHL.

“Criscuolo can play anywhere in your top nine players,” an NHL executive told SJHN. “It’s decent.”

This may align with GM Mike Greer’s plan to build a more competitive Barracuda team this year. I think the San Jose Sharks organization would like their superstars William Ecklund and Thomas Bordello to see some playoff action this season.

The Koda are currently hanging on to the seventh and final playoff spot in the Pacific Division with a record of 16-21-0-2, and the Henderson Silver Knights are trailing on their heels by just three points.

Barracuda and Griffins struck another deal after Weatherby’s trade:

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