Justin Braun D SAN 12 Hrs

Justin Braun and the San Jose Sharks have engaged in preliminary contract extension talks.

Braun isn't scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent until 2015, but it's not surprising that the Sharks would be interested in locking him up now. He averaged 20:59 minutes per contest in 2013-14 and might top that next season now that Dan Boyle's gone. He should get a big pay increase after he completes his current three-year, $3.75 million contract.

Justin Braun D SAN 3 Months

Justin Braun blocked a hard shot during Tuesday's game, but he should be fine for Game 4 on Thursday.

Braun has a goal and a team-leading plus-six rating in three playoff games. He's been playing alongside Brad Stuart.

Justin Braun D SAN 3 Months

Justin Braun scored the winner and was plus-three on Sunday.

Braun's goal put the Sharks up 3-2 and gave them a lead that they never relinquished. The Sharks have outscored the Kings 13-5 in the first two games of the series but are expecting a much different Los Angeles team for Game 3. "We've had a couple of great nights offensively, but more games like this . . . uhh, no," Braun said. "We obviously can't be disappointed with the goals we've scored, but they're a good team and the games aren't all going to be like this." Game 3 goes on Tuesday at the Staples Center.

Justin Braun D SAN 6 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 8 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 10 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 May 31 '13

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 May 28 '13

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 May 27 '13

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.