The San Jose Sharks may have opened rookie camp on Thursday, but the real fun began on Saturday when the majority of the participants partake in the Rookie Showcase against prospects from the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks organizations.
The club released two rosters for the camp, a Rookie Showcase roster, and a U50 roster. The tournament roster consists of 16 forwards, 10 defensemen, and two goaltenders; mostly junior players from across North America, featuring some professional European talent.
The U50’s are professional players with less than 50 NHL games to their name. While there are just 11 skaters and two goaltenders on that list, the majority of them have NHL and AHL experience, whereas the competing rookies skated in various junior leagues across the world.
Dynamic winger Nikolay Goldobin is one of the names on that list. The 2014 first-round pick has played in 78 professional games too many, so he will only take part in the “U50” camp. It may be unfortunate for the fan,s but Goldobin has already paid his dues and will compete for an NHL spot in just over a week’s time when NHL training camp officially opens up.
You will notice there are no NCAA players here aside from those who have recently turned pro, as the rules are quite restrictive regarding current player eligibility. Basically; class is in session!
The #SJSharks Rookie Showcase roster. See you this weekend, @Avalanche & @AnaheimDucks!https://t.co/ExYNIWwHW7 pic.twitter.com/fWWoYa7Wtu
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 13, 2016
Timo Meier is the top prospect in a Sharks uniform. The name you hear seemingly over and over during a broadcast. He’s the type of player who is as tough as he is skilled. He’s unique, in the sense that he has the attributes to be the shooter, setup man, or net presence (often is) in offensive situations. As well as being as adept at making plays with his shoulders as he is his hands, Meier is a leader and it hasn’t taken long for others to notice.
Tyler Morely takes a run at Chartier and Timo Meier immediately comes to the aid of his center, drops the gloves and then Morely. #SJSharks
— Zachary DeVine (@zakkthebear) September 19, 2016
Kevin Labanc is a serious scoring threat. 234 points over his final two OHL seasons; 164 of those being apples, is no joke. It’s not as if he was playing alongside a hyped-up first overall pick or playing on the top over-age line in the league. He may have been a sixth-round pick, but be sure that management has high expectations for this junior scoring star.
Marcus Sorensen (24) is much older than most players at this camp, but his lack of experience of North American soil maintains his eligibility. Though he isn’t accustomed to NHL ice, Sorensen is an accomplished player in what is arguably the fourth best league in the world (SHL) and has been among Djurgardens top scorers for the past couple of seasons. He has quick hands and feet, and the compete level to match. A second or third line NHL job could be in his near future.
A relentless motor and fine skill level make Rourke Chartier a coaches dream. He’s slick with the puck and doesn’t shy away from high-traffic areas. If he was 6 foot 4 instead of 5 foot 11, he would’ve been a top 60 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Chartier has legitimate NHL potential, and this tournament was a great learning experience for the 20-year-old Saskatoon, SK native. The club recognizes his potential and will continue to watch him closely as camp plays out locally.
The team will return to their San Jose training complex for three more days following the conclusion of the tournament for on and off-ice training sessions, including an inter-squad scrimmage on Sept. 21 to cap things off.