San Jose Sharks:
Last season – 6th in the Western Conference
Oh so close the Sharks came last season. Finally, a solid post-season run from the team that has had so many disappointments over the years.
GM – Doug Wilson
This will be the 13th year for Doug Wilson in charge of the Sharks. After being a little bit on the hot seat in San Jose, Wilson managed to turn it around, put together a roster who were a few wins away from its first Stanley Cup ever. But, he has to take this Stanley Cup appearance with him into this season.
Head Coach – Peter DeBoer
DeBoer is going into his 2nd season as the Sharks head coach. Previously he has won a Memorial Cup and been in two Stanley Cup finals. With the Sharks last year and with the Devils in 2012.
His biggest challenge this season is to keep their offensive lines going, while improving the contributions of their complimentary players and getting that third line to work better.
He also need to keep those contributions coming from the veterans on the roster. The good thing is that Couture will be playing more than his 52 games last season, and we should see a Sharks firing on all cylinders again this year and make the post season for another possible run.
Mikkel Boedker (LW), David Schlemko (D), Maxim Letunov (C),
6th round pick 2017
James Reimer (G), Roman Polak (D), Matt Tennyson (D), Jeremy Morin (LW)
3rd round pick 2017, 4th round pick 2016
With being so close to the promised land, Wilson haven’t stepped in the mistake of doing too much this offseason. Re-signing Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto while adding Mikkel Boedker and David Schlemko to the roster. Losing only the backup goalie and a depth defenseman along the way.
Goaltending – 7/10
Jones made it clear that he is a number one goalie in the league, but now they have lost their depth in Reimer, and there are some question marks in regards to Dell. Good starter, not the greatest duo.
Defense – 8/10
Their defense core has proven themselves as one of the better in the league, especially when the system is rolling. They aren’t quite at the same stellar quality as the best, but rest assure, they are good enough to make another run. They have some depth issues if injuries should occure.
Martin – Burns
Vlasic – Braun
Dillon – Schlemko
Forwards – 9/10
Offensively the Sharks are able to run three fast and solid lines with size if they want to. They got plenty of center-men in the lineup but tried concentrating that in the lineup last season. It worked for the most part, but it hurt the 3rd line a little. However, fixing the 3rd line by either improving or restructuring and the Sharks will have a high quality forwards group with speed to beat most teams. By adding Boedker they got even more speed.
Hertl – Thornton – Pavelski
Boedker – Couture – Donskoi
Marleau – Tierney – Ward
Nieto – Wingels – M. Karlsson
Team Composition – 9/10
The Sharks have built their team on puck possession, skill, size and speed. They got a good starter, who possibly could have gotten a better grade, a solid puck-moving defense, big forwards and plenty of size and skill throughout the lineup. They are a contender.
Leadership presence – 10/10
Thornton, Marleau, Burn, Pavelski, Vlasic, Ward and Martin. There are enough guys here to lead this team and even then one probably could add a few more to the leadership mix. This is a tight group who knows what it takes, and be not surprised if they are back there fighting for it this coming season.
Skill Value – 9/10
There is plenty of skill going through this lineup, and looking at both last year and the last few years, they seem able to keep adding players with talent to the roster. Hertl and Donskoi being the latest added and with Goldobin in the ranks there is more coming. In the lineup there are plenty of skilled guys, even among the oldest players.