With all the issues regarding lineup configurations heading into 2019 – 2020 where does Dylan Gambrell fit in on the San Jose Sharks next season?
The San Jose Sharks selected Dylan Gambrell with the 60th overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. Since then Gambrell’s progressed steadily, but now entering his 2nd full season of professional hockey. Where exactly does he fit in inside this organization?
In 2018 – 2019 Gambrell spent some time with the big club, however a bulk of his minutes got compiled playing for the Barracuda. In his 51 games for the AHL affiliate he racked 45 total points, potting 20 goals in the process. The 23-year-old ranked 1st on a low scoring San Jose squad in PPG and 2nd in total goals scored.
His two-way game and scoring touch got put on display throughout his time in the AHL. Nevertheless, when he found himself in the Sharks lineup he failed to make much of an impact that really warranted him more playing time.
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Albeit that’s typical from Coach Pete DeBoer who traditionally doesn’t trust younger skaters, especially in the depth roles that Gambrell found himself during his 8 games with the Sharks.
Yet when Team Teal needed a body up front Gambrell was often recalled to fill in the press box or a 4th line spot. His services got called upon in San Jose’s most dire moments and he came through scoring his first ever NHL goal in Game 6 of the WCF.
The Sharks extended a qualifying offer to Gambrell locking him into the organization for 2 more years with a 700,00 AAV. This should give the young forward time to help develop his game and hopefully have him contribute big minutes at a good value.
Considering all the questions surrounding who’s going to fill into the front end of the Sharks line-up. Gambrell has as much of an opportunity as any of the other prospects making their way through the farm system. With time the fog will dissipate and the all the concerns with the line-up should get resolved.
But for now it’s fun to speculate whether these older skaters can fend off their jobs from the new batch of talented players making their debut at the professional level in North America.