Ivan Chekhovich, Left Wing
This one is a bit of a wildcard and was thrown in after his spectacular showing in the Sharks first preseason game. Ivan Chekhovich started the game on the fourth line, but ended up anchoring the first. He put up 2 goals and 1 assist on Tuesday’s nights 4 – 1 victory over the Ducks. His 6 SOG were a Sharks team high. If he didn’t have the coaching staffs attention during the first few days of training camp he sure does now.
The native of Russia has spent the last two seasons in the QMJHL with Baie-Comeau Drakkar. He put together two quality seasons and accumulated 119 points with 45 of which lit the lamp. Last season he placed second on his team with 12 power play goals and led the team in High Danger Scoring Chances with 108, per theqmjhl.
Chekhovich has shown impressive finishing ability during his Junior career. He uses his quick hands to score off of zone rushes, shoot in cross ice one timers, or dump in rebounds in front of the crease. He finished off the end of his spectacular season last year with the Sharks AHL affiliate the Barracuda and helped propel them to a Calder Cup playoff appearance.
There really isn’t much to be known about the young winger. Not much has been said about Chekhovich, unless you follow the QMJHL. Perhaps those days are over now with his impressive showing in his preseason debut.
Sharks fans should be hearing a lot more about the 19-year-old in the near future. He is unable to play for the Barracuda because he has one more year left in Juniors, but the Sharks do have the option of burning a year of his eligibility on his entry level contract if they want to keep Chekhovic on their roster. He is definitely making them think long and hard about this decision.
Look for these skaters, and possibly even others not mentioned, to have big years for the San Jose Sharks. Head Coach Peter DeBoer is going to be forced to rely on a lot of his younger skaters, something out of the norm for him.