San Jose Sharks head coach David Quinn announced that defenseman Jan Rutta will be out of the lineup on a week-to-week basis with an upper-body injury.
Rutta, 33, suffered the injury late in the first period of Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Kraken when he was awkwardly hit into the boards by Ty Kartye. It wasn’t a massive hit to the Sharks defensive depth though, as they had eight defensemen dressed in that game. Rutta finished the game having been on the ice for one goal against in 4:17 of ice time as the Sharks went on to lose the game 7-1.
Like most players on the Sharks this season, Rutta has had a slow start to the year, with just one assist in 19 games. However, he’s better known for his defensive play, as his 2.46 5v5 expected goals against per 60 minutes is tied for 60th in the league among defensemen with 2500 played since 2021.
Rutta was an undrafted free agent signing by the Chicago Blackhawks out of the Czech Extraliga in 2017, and spent parts of two seasons with the Blackhawks before he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning in January 2019. He spent parts of four seasons in Tampa Bay and won two Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021 before departing for free agency and signing his current three-year contract with a $2.75 million cap hit with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played just one year of it in Pittsburgh before he was traded to the Sharks as part of the return for Erik Karlsson in the 2023 offseason.
Rutta’s loss isn’t overly significant for the Sharks in a season that is already lost, as they are last in the NHL with a 3-15-1 record, and already 14 points out of a playoff spot. They’ve lost five of their last six games as they head into Friday afternoon’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.