As the San Jose Sharks come up towards the conclusion of what has been a rather strong season, the team’s front office is already working towards bolstering their roster for an even better 2018-19 season.
With the in mind, the Sharks agreed to terms with goaltender Antoine Bibeau on a two-year, two-way contract extension, according to a club announcement from general manager Doug Wilson made on Tuesday evening. As per club policy, the terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.
A few hours later, Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reported that the deal is worth an AAV of $650, 000, meaning the 23-year-old netminder will earn a guaranteed total of $300, 000 per year.
Bibeau, a native of Victoriaville, Quebec, started his career in the National Hockey League with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016 following two years with the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League.
Bibeau only made his debut at the big league stage when he was recalled alongside Byron Froese and Frederik Gauthier in December of 2016, his only stint on NHL ice which lasted all of just two games.
Bibeau, who joined the Sharks as a free agent signing in July of 2017, is a former 6th round (172nd overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Bibeau will be the club’s third goaltender to start a contract extension come October as both Martin Jones and Aaron Dell have also been locked up in the last year.
During his short tenure north of the boarder in Toronto, Bibeau, who currently plays for the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, served as backup to veteran Frederik Andersen shortly following the departure of Jhonas Enroth, now with the HC Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League.
As noted by FanRag Sports, Bibeau spent parts of four seasons playing in the QMJHL prior to joining the Toronto Marlies in 2014-15.
In a statement from assistant general manager Joe Will with regards to the transaction, he said, “He has proven to be one of the best goaltenders in the American Hockey League as evidenced by his selection to the AHL All-Star Game and strong play throughout the year. The contract extensions of Martin Jones, Aaron Dell and now Antoine Bibeau solidify a strong goaltending core.”
Bibeau, who weighs in at six-foot-three, 210-pounds, has appeared in a total of 33 games played for the Barracuda this season where he owns a record of 18-11-2 to go alongside a .928 save percentage, a 2.09 goals-against average as well as four shutouts.
It is worth noting that amongst American Hockey League goaltenders, Bibeau ranks fourth in goals-against average, third in save percentage, tied for eighth in wins and tied for third in shutouts. He was selected as one of two players to represent San Jose at the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic.
Taking a look now at his AHL career as a whole, Bibeau has appeared in a total of 137 games in which he has put together a record of 74-33-13 to go alongside a .911 save percentage, a 2.62 goals-against average and 14 shutouts.
As for his NHL numbers, Bibeau owns a record of 1-1-0 record to go alongside a .927 save percentage and a 1.99 goals-against average.
With regards to some of his career highlights, Bibeau had his best year in 2015-16 when he went 28-9-1 with a .909 save percentage and a 2.70 goals allowed average during regular season play with the Marlies. In his last hurrah under head coach Sheldon Keefe at Ricoh Coliseum, Bibeau started a total of 32 games where he put together a record of 13-14-1 though it did come with a cost as he posted AHL career-worsts with an .894 save percentage while allowing 3.08 goals per game.
Bibeau can qualify for unrestricted free agency at the conclusion of the 2019-2020 season where he will then be 26 years of age at the end of his extension. If Bibeau continues to excel at the AHL level, his success could very well lead him to another opportunity in the NHL while if that’s not the case, it could also make for an interesting trade chip if the right deal came together that made sense to give a go ahead.