What Will the 4th Line Look Like in 2018 – 2019?
San Jose Sharks Head Coach Peter DeBoer is known for trusting his roster and rolling all four lines. This makes having competent skaters up and down the lineup a key for the Sharks success. Eric Fehr made a good fit for the team as the fourth line center, but signed with the Minnesota Wild during the summer. The team also parted ways with veterans Joel Ward and Jannik Hansen. This year’s team however seems to be taking a younger approach to fill out their lineup depth.
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Players like Mekler Karlsson, Marcus Sorensen, and Barclay Goodrow are all still on the Sharks roster and have the inside track on making up the fourth line. However, the Sharks have some interesting names in the farm system that could potentially see time on the big club this season. The San Jose Barracuda have a few young players like Rudolfs Balcers who played well down the stretch.
The Sharks also signed quite a few young free agents from outside of the NHL over the past year that are looking to get noticed during camp. 2016 second round pick and former University of Denver Pioneer Dylan Gambrell signed his Entry Level contract and should be penciled in as the 4th Line Center.
Russian centerman Maxim Letunov decided against playing in his final year of college hockey at UConn to join the Sharks club.
All of these players are centers, which could help plug one of the few holes in the San Jose Sharks roster.
It is a very good sign that a team is filling out the depth of its roster with young skilled skaters. This team has some tough decisions to make when it comes to the composition of the fourth line. From the looks of it players like Karlsson, Sorenson, and Goodrow have the inside track over some of the younger guys, as they are not waiver exempt. But that doesn’t mean that these other guys can’t make the case for ice time with the big club.