From Unknown to Starter: Danil Yurtaykin’s Journey to the San Jose Sharks

The San Jose Sharks will be relying on some unfamilar names this upcoming season. Perhaps nobody more unknown than Danil Yurtaykin.

After suffering through a tough off-season the San Jose Sharks were searching for answers at forward during this years training camp festivities. And from the looks of things Team Teal appears to have found a potential answer in 22-year-old Danil Yurtaykin.

The Russian winger had a very impressive preseason where he formulated some great chemistry with Joe Thornton on the third line. His surprisingly quick feet, slick hands, and great positioning on the ice made him a perfect recipient for Jumbo’s effortless tape to tape passes.

Listed at 5’11 165 pounds the Russian born winger plays well above his weight. Which isn’t all that surprising considering he’s spent the last two seasons in the KHL, mostly for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. In his 58 games of KHL action the forward compiled 19 total points with 10 of those being goals.

These point totals are not all that impressive however the Sharks scouting department obviously sees something in the rookie. Team Teal locked him with a 2-year-deal that carries an average annual value of 925,00 per season.

Yurtaykin lands on a long list of San Jose prospects who have been found through nontraditional routes. These savvy moves by the front office have kept the farm system afloat over the years and continue to pay dividends to this day.

Yurtaykin’s emergence couldn’t have come at a better time for the Sharks considering all the questions surrounding the composition of their roster. Out of the crop of young skaters San Jose invited to camp Yurtaykin rose above the rest playing consistently in all his preseason games.

The undrafted free agent sealed his spot in the starting line-up by scoring the lone goal versus the Vegas Golden Knights in the Sharks final preseason contest. This was one of the only bright spots in a hectic night at the T-Mobile Arena.

With the recent suspension of Evander Kane the young skater might be playing huge minutes on the big club likely alongside Timo Meier and Logan Couture. This will be a tough task for the winger who is will be suiting up in his first NHL regular season game against the Sharks biggest rival.

Regardless of where Danil Yurtaykin is slotted in the Sharks lineup they’ll be relying on the right right handed winger to play his role and potentially chip in offensively especially with “first line” minutes in his first meaningful game in the NHL.

Hopefully he pushes the momentum he built throughout the preseason into opening night against an opponent that likely won’t accommodate to a player trying to get adjusted to the big leagues.