The first two volumes of the All-Star break San Jose Sharks report card covers the stars and supporting cast. The final edition examines disappointments…
The All-Star break is the perfect time to examine player performances. The three-volume San Jose Sharks report card theme has been studs, buds and duds.
After grading the stars and supporting cast over the weekend, we now look at the rest. These Sharks have not contributed much yet this 2016-17 NHL season. It could be due to injury, underperformance or simply being stuck in the AHL behind the logjam of talent.
As with the first two volumes, every player below is listed in order of their importance for the team. However, grades for this group draw from statistics mitigated by games played and other factors. Finally, the all-time greats still set the bar: Gordie Howe (forwards), Bobby Orr (defensemen) or Patrick Roy (goalies).
Tomas Hertl: B-
San Jose needs Tomas Hertl to stay healthy. Its Stanley Cup hopes left last June with his injury and it lacked scoring depth when without him this season. He has played just 18 games, scoring four goals (one winner) and five assists. He is also committed in his own end: 30 hits, five blocks, six giveaways, nine takeaways and 56 percent in the circle.
Mikkel Boedker: D-
The Sharks are still not getting what they signed up for with Mikkel Boedker. He has just six goals (one winner) and 11 assists in 49 games this season. He also does not provide much defensively beyond skating: 39 hits, 19 blocks, 28 giveaways, 13 takeaways, and just three wins in 14 faceoffs.
Dylan DeMelo: C+
San Jose’s poster child for inadequate playing time, Dylan DeMelo has played admirably considering everything. When he finally got a chance to prove he belonged in the lineup, he broke his wrist. Thus, he has just 14 games with a goal, three assists, 18 hits,14 blocks, five giveaways and a takeaway.
Micheal Haley: D
Enforcers still have a role in modern hockey—at least in the regular season. Micheal Haley is not only adequate in that role, but as a reserve forward. He has played 31 games with just six assists, but also just 11 giveaways, 13 takeaways and 70 hits. If not called upon for faceoffs (36.8 percent) or to kill penalties (10 blocked shots), he is not a liability.
Kevin LaBanc: C
The most lasting impact any rookie has had with the 2016-17 Sharks came from Kevin LaBanc. He has stopped scoring (no goals, two assists in last 11 games) but still belongs on the ice. He has seven goals (two winners), seven assists, 14 hits, nine blocks, 19 giveaways, 11 takeaways and two wins in four faceoffs over 37 games.
Timo Meier: D
Another rookie to suffer some things out of his control this season, Timo Meier has done less with his opportunities. Illness, San Jose’s forward depth and minor injuries have limited him to 18 games played, two goals (one winner), and two assists. Still, he is at least an asset defensively with 45 hits, four blocks and 13 takeaways. (However, he does have 16 giveaways and lost both his faceoffs.)
Ryan Carpenter: B
No AHL recall has done more with less than Ryan Carpenter. He has two goals (one winner) and two assists in just eight games on the fourth line. He also defends well: 12 hits, two blocks, two giveaways and a takeaway while winning 49.1 percent of faceoffs.
Other Reserves (collective): C-
Four Sharks played fewer than five games this season—too few to grade them individually. Collectively they have seven games, a goal and an assist. They also registered three hits, seven blocks and three giveaways but five takeaways while winning seven of 13 faceoffs. Those numbers are great considering their limited ice time, but they also cannot grade as high if they are trusted less.
Specifically, Mirco Mueller has four of the seven games played and both points. He has been solid in his own end as well with two hits, three blocks, two giveaways and two takeaways.
Tim Heed and Daniel O’Regan made their NHL debuts and did nothing to differentiate themselves in positive or negative ways. There is no reason San Jose could not rely on them if needed. The same is true for reserve forward Barclay Goodrow, who has already proven he can play at this level.