Much has been made about the increase in young talent across the San Jose Sharks organization over the past couple of seasons. Last year, the Sharks received contributions from a slew of rookies, highlighted by the solid play of Chris Tierney and Melker Karlsson. Mirco Mueller and Barclay Goodrow also featured prominently for San Jose, and the Sharks are hoping for big things from the quartet during the 2015-16 season.
The San Jose Sharks don’t have too many holes remaining in their lineup, but there is still room for some impact rookies to push veterans for those last spots. Today, we take a look at three rookies who could state their case for beginning the year with the Sharks instead of the San Jose Barracuda.
The first potential rookie is 2014 first-round pick Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin was impressive during training camp and preseason action last season, so much so, that he was one of the last players sent out. Goldobin established a nice rapport with Tierney and Goodrow and flashed his offensive potential.
Goldobin added some much need strength this offseason, checking in at 185 pounds now. He possesses an excellent wrist shot and the offensive skills the Sharks lacked last season. Goldobin will be intriguing to watch during training camp to see where he may slot in the lineup and if he can make a serious run like last season.
More from Editorials
- Korenar deserves a chance at the NHL level
- Three prospects the Sharks should consider drafting
- Red hot Couture provides a much needed boost
- Is it reasonable for the Sharks to fire Doug Wilson?
- NHL misses golden opportunity with Tahoe games
Another forward who could push for a spot is free-agent signing Joonas Donskoi. Donskoi, 23, is an older prospect who was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the fourth round during the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Donskoi was signed by the Sharks in earlier this year after an impressive season in the top Finnish league.
Last year, Donskoi registered 19 goals and 30 assists in 58 games with Karpat to go along with a plus-13 rating. He stepped up his play during the postseason, winning the Jari Kurri Award as playoff MVP after netting six goals, 16 assists and a plus-15 rating.
Donskoi has the size and skating ability to be able to contribute with the San Jose Sharks, but the organization might want him to spend some time in the AHL to acclimate to the North American style of play.
Finally, Dylan DeMelo is a defensive prospect who could make an argument to be included on the Sharks blue line. DeMelo has spent the past two seasons in the AHL where he’s been one of the best defensemen on the team.
Last season, DeMelo scored five goals and 17 assists in 65 games, while adding one goal and two assists during the Worcester Sharks brief Calder Cup playoff run.
DeMelo could challenge for one of the final roster spots as the Sharks will likely be looking to add a third defenseman on the blue line. DeMelo’s puck-moving abilities could allow him to make the jump to the NHL level.