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 Joel Kellman.
Kellman was one of many forwards brought up by the Sharks this season, in the hopes that the team could replace some of their missing forward depth with prospects. In his first season in North America, Kellman started the year by playing 25 AHL games, where he scored four goals and 16 points with the Barracuda, before being called up and spending the remainder of the season in the NHL. With the Sharks, Kellman had three goals and seven points in 31 games, a pace of eight goals and 19 points per 82 games.
He had a fairly small role with the Sharks, averaging just 11:35 per game, though he did also spend some time on the penalty kill. His corsi for percentage was quite poor at just 45.7 per cent, but he was also playing in a mainly defensive role and had the lowest offensive zone start percentage of any player on the team, which provides an explanation for it. Despite the low offensive zone start percentage, he also had quite a strong expected goals for percentage of 50.7 per cent (according to NaturalStatTrick.com).
Kellman is in need of a new contract and the Sharks should be able to get a short-term deal done at a low cost. Realistically, Kellman was alright in a limited role in the bottom-six this year but I think we need a larger sample size before determining whether or not he’s a permanent fit. He’s likely to be back in the Sharks lineup next year and hopefully he’s able to solidify himself as being worthy of a permanent role in the NHL, potentially as San Jose’s fourth-line center. While he’s not going to add much offense and probably won’t ever be able to move very far up the lineup, he was quite decent in his time with the Sharks this season.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Do you think Joel Kellman will have a permanent spot in San Jose's lineup next season?