The San Jose Sharks take the ice for their 4th preseason game of the 2019 – 2020 season against the Anaheim Ducks.
With just few exhibitions remaining for the San Jose Sharks will be looking for the skaters who have impressed so far in camp to lock up their spots on the roster for opening night.
To go along with this crop of potential opening night starters. The Sharks also recalled recently assigned members of their AHL affiliate the Barracuda to help fill in the gaps. The Athletics Kevin Kurz outlines who to expect on the ice for the Sharks as they trek to southern California for tonight’s match-up.
What to Watch for?
Now or Never
The San Jose Sharks are still undecided when it comes to who will be taking the role at right wing in their top six. Dylan Gambrell has gotten a look there already this preseason and he’ll be tested again tonight.
He’ll need a big game considering other players in the lineup that the Sharks feel can produce at an NHL level. Jonny Brodzinski has been given a fair shake playing along some of Team Teal’s core pieces and performed admirably.
The formulation of the bottom six still hasn’t been settled with some familiar names battling for their jobs against a few up and comers within San Jose’s system. Alex True continues to impressive with his strong play and size. He’s likely competing with Sharks regulars Barclay Goodrow, Lukas Radil, and Melker Karlsson for ice-time on the 4th line.
Now it’s possible that one of these younger prospects like Joachim Blicheld, Sasha Chmelevski, Noah Gregor, or Ivan Chekhovich can make the case for a spot on the squad. However with their recent assignment to the AHL it seems that the front office has already formed an opinion on these players.
Just like at forward it appears that the Sharks will rely on their organizational depth on defense at the start of the season. Radim Simek is coming off a significant injury and San Jose feels that they shouldn’t rush him back when it’s not entirely critical. This opens up a spot on the left side of the ice for a skaters like Mario Ferraro.
The 21-year-old defender has seemingly caught everyone’s attention including the coaching staff, front office, and players in the locker room. Ferraro’s high motor and aggressiveness in the offensive zone make him a perfect candidate to fill in on this Sharks blueline for the time being.
His competition for this coveted spot is Jake Middleton. Who is also a viable candidate for those minutes on the big club. The 23-year-old has looked solid during his time in the preseason and arguably has the inside track on the role considering his familiarity with the Sharks system.
With the roster shrinking down to 32 players the composition of the San Jose Sharks is coming into focus. Nevertheless, there are still plenty to sort through in these upcoming games on the preseason schedule.
The broadcast for this contest will be on NHL Network at 7 PM PT. For an audio only stream check out the official Sharks App.