The San Jose Sharks have a few remaining roster spots up in the air with the last week of training camp around the corner, this team is looking towards their younger players to fill these roles.
2014 San Jose Sharks 5th round pick Rourke Chartier has impressed thus far during the 2018 – 2019 campaign. He has shown a knack for scoring and ability in the face-off circle. Chartier (Shar-tchay) has flashed his abilities and has got the coaching staff attention during his first 5 preseason games.
He’s compiled 2 goals and 3 assists during that stretch, and scored the only Power Play goal of the preseason thus far. This Sharks roster has very few holes going into this season. By observing the players this team invited to training camp, they are leaning on their younger skaters to make an impact.
The San Jose Sharks lost a lot of center depth as part of the trade for Erik Karlsson. Not only did they lose their starting third line center Chris Tierney. They traded away arguably their most highly touted center prospect Josh Norris. They are looking for young skaters like Chartier to fill in the lack of depth at center.
Head Coach Pete DeBoer has given Chartier plenty of opportunities to shine this preseason. He’s had ice time on special teams and has also been deployed with line mates consisting of NHL regulars like Melker Karlsson, Kevin Labanc, and Barclay Goodrow. He has exhibited the ability to compete against NHL talent thus far during the first few weeks of camp.
More from Analysis
Norris Trophy odds show Erik Karlsson a step above the rest
Korenar deserves a chance at the NHL level
Three ways the Sharks could move Martin Jones
San Jose Sharks: Three Keys to Defeating the Chicago Blackhawks
San Jose Sharks Will Need to “Protect the House” on the Road
Rourke Chartier has been a part of the San Jose Sharks organization for a few years now, and spent 28 games with the Barracuda last season. He has been recovering from a significant head injury received during the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs.
Chartier is finally at full strength this training camp and has shown that his proficiency in Juniors and Minors can translate in the NHL.
The young centerman put together some impressive seasons during his time in Juniors. In four seasons with the Kelowna Rockets he compiled 216 points, 110 of which were goals. But he put together his best season after the Sharks drafted him in the 2014 Entry Draft. He potted 48 goals in only 58 games that season, which placed 3rd in the WHL.
Chartier is a bit undersized for a NHL center, but his tenacity, skate speed, and situational awareness help make up for the lack of physical attributes. What really stands out when you look through all of his Junior and Minor league stats is that he is an extremely disciplined skater. He has great hockey sense and is rarely in the penalty box. If Rourke Chartier does make the team his discipline on skates will come in handy considering he will likely used in more of a defensive role.
The Saskatoon native was called up to join the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate the Barracuda for the start of the 2016 – 2017 expedition. He was an integral part of a team that had one of their best finishes in franchise history.
In his first professional hockey season Chartier played in nearly every game. He accumulated 35 points while playing tough minutes for Barracuda coach Roy Sommer. His strong play continued into the Calder Cup Playoffs but his season was cut short after he suffered a concussion that changed the trajectory of his career.
The 22 year old took most of last year to focus on his recovery from his very serious head injury. However he still was able to produce 21 points in 28 games, while continuing to stay out of the penalty box.
Chartier’s development has been interesting to track over the past few years; but the most impressive thing about him is that he continues to elevate his game even when battling career threatening injuries. His comeback couldn’t have been better timed. He seems to get more and more comfortable with each passing day of training camp.
Don’t expect Rourke Chartier to compete for points leader on the Sharks, but his skill set meshes perfectly into the roles they need filled. He has the ability to pitch in offensively, but the coaching staff is far more intrigued with his two-way game. The San Jose Sharks are looking for someone to take the minutes left by Chris Tierney. Those minutes are crucial considering Tierney was tasked with much of the penalty killing and difficult defensive assignments.
Chartier seems to have the inside track for the coveted fourth line center role. His main competition is former University of Denver Pioneer Dylan Gambrell, who has also played well. Either of them are eligible to start the season down with the Barracuda, but the Sharks desperately need centers on the back end of their roster. Judging by Chartiers usage so far this preseason it’s his job to lose.
The San Jose Sharks should definitely approach using this young skater with caution considering his history of head injuries. But Chartier’s proficiency in all three zones and ability to score the puck is something the Sharks desperately need from their bottom six forwards. Don’t be surprised if we see Rourke Chartier on the opening night roster against the Ducks on October 3.