The San Jose Sharks opened their training camp yesterday, with a roster that features 24 forwards, 13 defense and four goaltenders. Here’s the full roster, along with some thoughts on which players we can expect to make the final roster and taxi squad.
FORWARDS (24): Lean Bergmann, Joachim Blichfeld, Sasha Chmelevski, Logan Couture, Ryan Donato, Kurtis Gabriel, Dylan Gambrell, Noah Gregor, Jayden Halbgewachs, Fredrik Handemark, Tomas Hertl, Evander Kane, Joel Kellman, Kevin Labanc, John Leonard, Maxim Letunov, Patrick Marleau, Timo Meier, Matt Nieto, Stefan Noesen, Marcus Sorensen, Antti Suomela, Alex True, Jeffrey Viel
DEFENSE (13): Brent Burns, Trevor Carrick, Nick DeSimone, Mario Ferraro, Erik Karlsson, Nikolai Knyzhov, Jaycob Megna, Nicolas Meloche, Ryan Merkley, Jacob Middleton, Brinson Pasichnuk, Radim Simek, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
GOALIES (4): Devan Dubnyk, Martin Jones, Josef Korenar, Alexei Melnichuk
Up front, the Sharks have some spots in their lineup to be won. There are 10 forwards who are locks (Couture, Donato, Hertl, Kane, Labanc, Marleau, Meier, Nieto, Noesen and Sorensen) but the other lineup/roster spots are probably up for grabs. Joel Kellman will have a good shot at a spot in the bottom-six, as will Dylan Gambrell, however, neither are locks and there’s still a cluster of probably eight or nine forwards who could compete for lineup/roster/taxi squad spots.
The Sharks’ defense group will be an interesting situation heading into the season as well. San Jose only has five legitimate NHL defenders, with another spot in the lineup to be won in camp. Jacob Middleton is probably the frontrunner but he’s far from a lock and Trevor Carrick could be an option for the roster as well. Nick DeSimone, Nikolai Knyzhov, Nicolas Meloche and Brinson Pasichnuk could all compete to be on the taxi squad, while Jaycob Megna is on an AHL contract. Ryan Merkley could have a shot to make the team out of camp but personally, I don't think it would be the best move to start him in the NHL.
In net, the Sharks will have Devan Dubnyk and Martin Jones. However, we could see newcomer Alexei Melnichuk on the team’s taxi squad, considering he looks to be the better solution than Josef Korenar, should a third goalie be called into action.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Will Jacob Middleton win a spot in the Sharks' lineup to start the 2020-21 season?