Justin Braun D SAN 2 Months

Justin Braun leads Sharks defensemen with a plus-minus of plus-16 and is second behind Dan Boyle with 21 minutes, 23 seconds of ice time per game.

Braun's offensive numbers remain modest, with three goals and 11 assists in 58 games this season. But his improved skating ability has allowed him to join the rush more often and still be aware of his responsibilities on the defensive end, where he usually matches up with the opposing team's top line. Braun, who turns 27 on Monday, wasn't invited to the Americans' Olympic orientation camp last summer and never really seemed to catch the full attention of those who chose the team, which features some of the best defensemen in the NHL. But he is quietly having the best season of his NHL career, which began with the Sharks in November, 2010. "He's an elite skater, but he's brought it to another level this year," Sharks assistant coach Jim Johnson said. "He spent time this summer working on it, and you can see that the effort he's put in over the course of the last year has really benefited him. He's been a real bright spot for us on the back end."

Justin Braun D SAN 4 Months

Justin Braun scored his third goal of the season on Friday.

Braun's goal tied the game at three apiece late in the third before the Hurricanes scored twice to ice it. Braun has nine points and is first in the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-19 this season. He is worth putting in your lineup if you play the plus/minus category.

Justin Braun D SAN 6 Months

Justin Braun's goal Thursday night was his first with the San Jose Sharks since Feb. 10, 2012.

"It was good to get that out of the way early. I didn't want to go another 20, 30, 40 games to get that off my back," said Braun, who dealt with a broken bone in his hand last season. "It's nice to get that, and help the team win." Of course, offense isn't the primary reason why Braun is in the NHL, or why he's been able to cement his position in one of the Sharks' top two pairs on the blue line. Partnered with the steady Marc-Edouard Vlasic for much of the second half of last season, that tandem was routinely seeing the best opposing forwards down the stretch and into the postseason.

Justin Braun D SAN 11 Months

Justin Braun will need surgery to repair a hand injury suffered in Finland.

Braun was injured during the lockout in December as he broke the hamate bone in his left hand that kept him out of action for five weeks, but managed to play in the Sharks' first game January 20. "The start of the year it was a little tough getting used to, I wore a pad on my hand. The last couple months, it wasn't a problem," Braun said. "The training staff did a good job keeping that in check. I'll have to go in and get some surgery next week. It's just minor. It will be quick. Then I'll get back to work." He should be fine for the start of training camp in September.

Justin Braun D SAN 11 Months

Justin Braun is good to go after missing a large part of Game 6 and should be in the lineup Tuesday night.

Braun left during the first period and missed a decent portion of the game with what's believed to be a back injury. It sounds like the time off helped him heal and he should be good to go for Game 7.

Justin Braun D SAN 11 Months

Justin Braun missed a good chunk of Game 6 with a suspected back injury.

Braun absorbed a hit from Los Angeles' Jordan Nolan roughly four minutes into Sunday's game. "Sore moving the leg right away," Braun said. "They loosened it up in the back, and got ready. . Just kind of one of those freak things. It happens, I guess. It's never happened to me. It's fine now." He missed the remainder of the first period, but ended up logging 13:51 minutes in the contest.

Justin Braun D SAN Feb 17 '13

Sharks defenseman Justin Braun found himself watching Friday's loss to the Blackhawks from the press box.

The return of Brent Burns has made it increasingly difficult for Braun to find a spot in the lineup so he's not worth rostering at this time.

Justin Braun D SAN Jan 19 '13

Justin Braun returned to action on Friday January 18.

Justin Braun D SAN Jan 15 '13

Justin Braun (hand) took part in a full practice on Monday.

Braun suffered a hairline fracture in his hand while playing with Tappaara of the SM-liiga. The Sharks are not sure that he will be ready for the opener on Sunday but his participation in practice is a good sign. He is not exactly an offensive dynamo with only 11 points last season in 66 games so we suggest passing on him in your drafts.

Justin Braun D SAN Dec 13 '12

Justin Braun had an MRI which revealed a possible hairline fracture in his hand.

Braun is returning to North America after playing in six games with Tappara of the SM-liiga. The good news is that even if he does have a fractured hand, the bone is question is not believed to be a major one. All-in-all, the news has certainly gotten better for Braun and the Sharks since the story originally broke.