This article will be another in my series of player profiles, where I’ll look at each player on the San Jose Sharks and assess how their season went. This article will focus on Dylan Gambrell.
Considering how well Gambrell was able to produce in the AHL last season, where he scored 20 goals and 45 points in 51 games, it seemed as though he’d be able to produce at a decent level out of the gate upon joining the Sharks. However, in his rookie season, Gambrell scored just five goals and 11 points in 50 games, a pace of just eight goals and 18 points per 82 games.
He was sent down to the AHL between mid-December and the end of January. He also got a far larger role with the Sharks near the end of the season, where he played more than 16:30 per game in six of the last nine regular season games. That said, Gambrell averaged the least ice time per game of any forward to play at least 35 games with the Sharks this season. He had a poor corsi for percentage at just 46.7 per cent but he did have the lowest offensive zone start percentage of any player on the team who played more than 35 games. Even though he wasn’t in a role to produce offensively, all things considered, it was still a bit of an underwhelming season for Gambrell.
Considering San Jose’s lack of depth up front, I’d imagine Gambrell will get another shot in the bottom-six next season. However, he’ll be 24 years old and I think reasonable expectations would be to see him hit at least 10 goals and 25 points next season, in order to prove that he’s able to produce at the NHL level. I would say next season is probably a make or break year for Gambrell in terms of deciding his NHL future.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
How do you feel about Dylan Gambrell's rookie season?