30 in 30 San Jose Sharks

Zachary DeVine

2016-07-25

snj
Historically the San Jose Sharks are not the most active franchise during the dog days of summer. But general manager Doug Wilson made a bigger splash than usual with six key free agent signings this summer.
 
Speed and Skill added with Boedker 
 
Mikkel Boedker signed a surprising 4-year, $16 million deal. Most reports where that Boedker was seeking much more, both in term and dollar amount. The speedy winger skates on the off wing as a right-handed shot and was showcased mightily by the Coyotes on the power play last year before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche.  In fact, Boedker was eighth in the NHL last season with 3:59 minutes in power play time. Players finishing with less time on the man advantage included Claude Giroux, Evgeny Malkin, Joe Thornton, Ryan Suter, and Sidney Crosby among others. 
 
There is little chance the Boedker, 26, will get more special teams time than Thornton, Logan Couture, and Joe Pavelski. But it is an excellent opportunity for him to skate with some elite power play talent around him. 
 
Overall, the role for Boedker is uncertain. He could benefit from an elite set-up man in Thornton, but Pavelski and Tomas Hertl combined to make that a very dangerous and balanced top line. Boedker will most likely see himself play in the middle-six and see ample time on the power play as well.  
 
Versatile Defenseman Schlemko Signed
 
The Sharks made it clear that Roman Polak would not be re-signed and found his replacement quickly in veteran David Schlemko.  
 
{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The San Jose Sharks have signed David Schlemko to a four-year deal worth $2.1 million per season; Really underrated player in my mind</p>&mdash; Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) <a href="https://twitter.com/Real_ESPNLeBrun/status/748923018928201728">July 1, 2016</a></blockquote>
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The utility defender that can do a bit of everything skated in 67 contests last season for the New Jersey Devils and contributed 19 points.  The left-handed defender saw 12 points on the man advantage and can play both the left and right sides.  
 
The term for Schlemko is long for a journeyman defenseman who has yet to break the 20 point plateau in the NHL, but positions the Sharks well next years' expansion draft. Most writers believe that the Sharks will lose a defenseman to Las Vegas. If the NHL's newest team selects Paul Martin, Brenden Dillion, or perhaps gambles on Mirco Mueller, the Sharks already have a presence that can immediately plug into the line-up.  
 
World's Okayest Goalie Returns
 
Aaron Dell, the World's Okayest Goalie, resigned on a two-year deal with the Sharks.  Dell has taken the scenic route through professional hockey and will battle in training camp for the backup role behind Martin Jones.  Dell has adapted well at each level from the NCAA to CHL through a successful AHL season with the San Jose Barracuda last year. He lacks ideal size, but the skill set is there to be the Sharks back-up. It will be one of the few battles in training camp.  
 
Sharks Raid Sweden 
 
The Sharks signed three young players from the Swedish Hockey League during the prolonged playoff run. San Jose locked up Djurgardens IF goaltender Mantas Armalis and forward Marcus Sorensen as well as Skellefteå AIK defenseman Tim Heed
 
Armalis boasts a 2.42 goals-against average and a tidy .918 save percentage. He appeared in 34 games season with a 16-13-3-2 record before struggling in the postseason. Armalis has excellent size at 6'4 and nearly 200 pounds. He was at development camp and exhibited good footwork and positioning. He did, however, struggle on rebounds and broken plays, which he will see a lot of in the AHL next year. There will be ample opportunity to work on these skills with the Barracuda. 
 
Sorensen was one of, if not the, best forward at development camp. His polish as a professional was apparent as was his excellent skating and quickness. Most impressive was the speed at which he was able to operate at with the puck on his stick.  Sorensen is only 5'11 but did not shy away from making a hit, and his elusiveness saved him on more than one occasion in the corners.  Originally a 2010 fourth round selection of the Ottawa Senators, Sorensen scored 15 goals and 19 assists in 47 SHL games last year.  He'll compete for an NHL spot at camp.
 
Tim Heed is a converted forward known for an excellent shot and ability to get the puck on net. Not surprisingly there are some rough spots in his defensive game, but the new NHL is owned by the skilled.  Heed registered 23 points in 50 games this past season. He was not at development camp due to wrist surgery but should be ready for camp this fall.
 
The 2016 San Jose Sharks Draft Class 
 
Dylan Gambrell – Center    
Second Round (60th Overall) 
 
The Sharks went a bit off the board in selected Dylan Gambrell with their first pick in the draft. Gambrell had gone through the draft twice and will be 20 on August 26th.  Gambrell does not have prototypical size but exhibited good vision and skating in the drills and scrimmage during the Sharks Development Camp. The selection makes some sense when you consider the aging core of the Sharks and that only a few more years are possible with Joe Thornton as the franchise center. 
 
Gambrell is planning on returning to Denver next season but was noncommittal that rejoining the Pioneers is set in stone. The San Jose Barracuda are already looking like a very young team heading into next season, so likely there is not a rush. 
 
Noah Gregor – Center    
Fourth round  (111th Overall) 
 
A player many thought would be a second round selection; most Sharks fans felt like San Jose got two good players with their top two picks, albeit in the wrong order. Gregor was part of the top Warriors line with Brayden Point and Dryden Hunt. Gregor and Gambrell both have a similar size, and both are centers. Gregor fits the Doug Wilson mold: hard-working, decently skilled center that will likely move to the wing. Gregor' coached in Moose Jaw by former San Jose Sharks enforcer Tim Hunter. 
 
Gregor already plays a well-rounded game and no glaring holes. Next year will be a key for Gregor to show what he can do offensively. With Hunt and point turning pro, much of the Warriors offense should fall to Gregor. It will be interesting to see how he responds.
 
Manuel Wiederer – Center    
Fifth Round (150th Overall) 
 
The Sharks have had success drafting German-born players and now add Manuel Wiederer to the list. The third center and second overage player in the first three picks, Wiederer spent his draft year playing professionally in the DEL with the Straubing Tigers. Selected by Moncton in 2016 CHL Import draft, Wiederer registered 64 points in 54 regular season games. He is slated to return to Moncton this fall and will occupy both an OA and Import slot for the Wildcats. 
 
During camp, Wiederer showed a quick first step but needs to get more power out of his stride. The right-handed pivot played well with the puck and showed flashes of creativity as well in the scrimmage.
 
Mark Shoemaker – Defense   
Sixth Round (180th Overall) 
 
A big, reliable defenseman taken in the late rounds, Shoemaker will have plenty of time to come into his own. Last season with the Oshawa Generals the right-handed rearguard recorded four goals and nine assists in 67 contests. Shoemaker already has pro size, but struggled at times in skating drills and many of his passes were slightly off the mark. Shoemaker is a project and likely will be a better NHL defenseman than fantasy player if his development goes well. 
 
Joachim Blichfeld – Left/Right Wing 
Seventh Round (210th Overall)  
 
The Sharks success in the later rounds of the draft is something to watch, which makes the selection of Blichfeld, the second to last player selected, one to watch. Blichfeld skated last season with the Malmo Redhawks J20 team in Sweden's SuperElit League and was one of the youngest players on the squad, an honor he also held at the Sharks development camp. In what is becoming a theme, Blichfeld has good height but will need time to add mass to his frame. 
 
Blichfeld showed good balance and playing attention to doing drills correctly. However, his skating style was very upright and rigid. Like many young players, skating will be a key to his development. In addition to his first time skating with many Sharks prospects that had spent years together, he had never skated on North American ice before camp. Overall the camp was one of adjustment for the youngster who is known for his versatility and offensive upside. Blichfeld will head to North America next year and play for WHL's Portland Winterhawks. 
 
Development Camps Notes
 
Two players looked NHL ready at the Sharks Development Camp. Forwards Timo Meier and Marcus Sorensen both looked prepared to challenge for one of the few roster spots. Meier, who nearly made the opening night last year, played a man among boys. His good skating and excellent compete level allowed him to go both around players with skill or through players with sheer determination. During interviews, even Meier’s “Q & A” skills were already at an NHL level. 
 

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="et" dir="ltr">Timo Meier vs Jacob Middleton <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SharksDevCamp?src=hash">#SharksDevCamp</a> <a href="https://t.co/M5hiiGDNro">pic.twitter.com/M5hiiGDNro</a></p>&mdash; Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) <a href="https://twitter.com/zakkthebear/status/752577569191440387">July 11, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Sorensen dazzled with excellent skating and quick hands. His years of experience in the  SHL was a notable attribute among the younger players. These two players are the odds-on favorites to duke it out for the last roster spot in San Jose. Both Meier and Sorensen have 30+ point potential next year. 

 
Two players with NHL experience did not make much of an impression. Barclay Goodrow did not look engaged in many of the camps drills. He is likely a bottom 6 NHL player and the work ethic can not wane if he hopes to earn a regular role with the Sharks.
 
Speaking of work ethic Nikolai Goldobin again wowed with his talent, but did not bring an effort level to match. Goldobin has phenomenal flashes of puck wizardry. Should he ever add some level of consistency to his game, he would immediately become a dangerous top six NHL winger. One more year for Goldobin, at least to start, at the AHL level looks needed. The clock is ticking for the skilled Russian with two years of professional hockey under his belt. 
 
Kevin Labanc, Adam Helewka, and Rourke Chartier all bring different elements to the prospect group and were very noticeable at the development camp. Labanc looks to be another late round steal for San Jose. He has a goal scorers touch, creativity, and above average on-ice vision. His skating has improved much and should continue to be refined. Helewka began last year with the San Jose Barracuda before returning to the WHL. Helewka projects as a complementary scoring winger, with an excellent character quotient. Chartier is a toolsy forward who seemingly does everything well. There are few holes in his game and will likely be a versatile piece of the Sharks future. 
 
All these players, along with other prospects, like Danny O’Regan, Maxim Letunov, Colin Blackwell, Noah Rod, Jake Jackson exhibit the glut of talent the Sharks possess in the organization. Likely only Meier and Goldobin are considered blue chip prospects. But the competition between all of these young players will be fierce. 
 
{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">1-on-1 Drills: Maxim Letunov vs Noah Rod <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SharksDevCamp?src=hash">#SharksDevCamp</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rnv83R6vq2">pic.twitter.com/Rnv83R6vq2</a></p>&mdash; Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) <a href="https://twitter.com/zakkthebear/status/751855262122684416">July 9, 2016</a></blockquote>
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Camp tryout invitee, Tyler Nother was one of the best defensemen in camp, and many people came away impressed.  Nother along with Kevin Cavan Fitzgerald and Patrick McNally were the best defenseman in camp over the five days. 
 
The Sharks also invited Japanese forward Yushiro Hirano, who played in the USHL last year. His skating needs some work, but has a plus shot and took in a lot of coaching. Hirano hopes to skate in the ECHL next year to hone his game. 
 
Jeremy Roy missed the first day of camp but looked solid in all drills. During the scrimmage his defensive play was acceptable, but his skating allowed him to cover up many mistakes. The Sharks lack of defensive depth, especially regarding high-end prospects continues to be a concern. 
 

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