FTF Regular Season Cheat Sheet: Bottom Pairing and Defensive Depth

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The season is just around the corner (never really understood that phrasing, as time is linear and all), and we thought it would be great to give you a quick rundown on the roster, with a little blurb on each player. If you feel like we've covered this before, well, we have. But we're going to expand on it a little, include the stories that we've written on the players over the past year and give our input on what we expect next season. We don't know exactly how the lines will shake up yet, so everything from here on out is going to be based off the line up McLellan iced in the final preseason game against Phoenix.

Final cuts on Tuesday. God save us all.


Kent Huskins

#40 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-4

205

May 04, 1979

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week In Review (Mr. Plank), Observations From Teal & White (Mr. Plank/TCY), Kent Huskins Signs With San Jose (Mr. Plank)

 

2008-2009 Stats (Anaheim Ducks)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM SOG SPCT PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG ATOI
32 2 4 6 6 27 20 10.0 0 0 0 0 0 18:47

 

Our two cents:

Kent Huskins inked a two year deal this offseason worth $1.7 M per, much to the chagrin of Plank and TCY due to the salary structure of San Jose. Unlike the addition of Scott Nichol however (which was also initially criticized), it is still uncertain how much (and at what level) Huskins will contribute to the Sharks success in 2009-2010.

Originally paired with Dan Boyle in the offseason depth chart (an interesting decision considering both blueliners like to carry the puck in the neutral zone), Todd McLellan reneged on his gut assumption and decided to slide Huskins off that pairing. His tendency to let opposing forwards run amok in the slot has been well chronicled here (most notably at "A Week In Review"), and will be a point of interest on a team not known for having an especially physical blueline. In order for Huskins to thrive in his puck carrying role, a defensive defenseman must be paired with him lest the Sharks run into some trouble on an unproven bottom pairing.

Head coach Todd McLellan called him out earlier this preseason for his disappointing play, but is entirely possible that his  lack of conditioning was a large part of that ineffectiveness up to this point. Huskins missed the majority of last season due to injury, and with only 142 games under his belt at the age of 30, it's unlikely he sufficiently replaces powerplay dynamo Christian Ehrhoff who left for Vancouver via trade.

A serviceable bottom pairing defenseman is the ceiling for Huskins- the hope is that he can provide as much.


Jason Demers

#60 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-1

190

Jun 09, 1988

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank)Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY)Ehrhoff and Lukowich moved for prospects (Mr. Plank)


2008-2009 Stats (Worcester Sharks)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
75 2 31 33 15 54


Our two cents:

Demers came to camp as a relative unknown, but quickly turned heads and jumped into the limelight (living in the limelight is the universal dream). He's now the favorite to take over the six spot next to Kent Huskins.

Demers is a solid puck moving defenseman with a decent shot and professional level defensive instincts. He's impressed so far this offseason and looks to be McLellan's pick. What should you expect from him?

Well, it seems that the coach isn't all too happy with Huskins' performance as of yet, so this pairing will likely get limited minutes. He'll probably get a chance to show off some of his offensive skill, but it will likely take time for him to become comfortable enough to use his shot in high pressure situations, a-la Joslin last year.

 



Derek Joslin

#65 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-1

210

Mar 17, 1987

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank)Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY)Worcester Watch (TCY)


2008-2009 Stats (San Jose Sharks)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM SOG SPCT PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG ATOI
12 0 0 0 -3 6 9 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 11:22

 

2008-2009 Stats (Worcester Sharks)

 

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
63 11 19 30 UNK 40

 

Our two cents:

Joslin established himself as a legitimate NHL prospect this offseason, scoring 30 points in 63 AHL games and making an AHL all-star appearance. In 12 games with the big club, he played solid mistake-free hockey but didn't display the offensive talents he's most known for.

It's practically down to Joslin and Demers for the final starting D spot (with Moore running a somewhat close third), and whomever doesn't get the job should be sent to the AHL as opposed to being scratched. When watching last year's AHL playoffs, Joslin definitely needed work on his defense in transition, so maybe another stint with Worcester would be better for his development.

 



Mike Moore

#55 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-1

200

Dec 12, 1984

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank)Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY)Worcester Watch (TCY)

 

2008-2009 Stats (Worcester Sharks)

 

 

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
76 5 13 18 UNK 113

 

 

Our two cents:

The Princeton graduate Moore is having a strong camp, but looks to be behind Demers and Joslin for the last starting spot on the team.

Unlike the other Sharks prospects, he's a defensive defensemen first, which could give him a leg up in the battle for the final spot. Although he's a big hitter, he's often reckless and that can put him out of position. He's a hard worker and a trusted presence on the ice, and has had countless accolades from his coaching staff. He'll make his way to San Jose eventually, but maybe not to start the season.



Nick Petrecki

#0 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-3

215

Jul 11, 1989

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank)Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY)Worcester Watch (TCY)

 

2008-2009 Stats (Boston College)

 

 

GP G A PTS +/- PIM
35 0 7 7 UNK 161

 

Our two cents:

Petrecki, the big defensemen with the even bigger shot, was the sexy pick to make the team out of camp. Somewhere along the way though (after a fight which took him out of 55 minutes of an exhibition match on a game misconduct), the coaches decided that Petrecki needed time to hone his professional game in Worcester.

He could have easily made the team, but FTF thinks that it's better he didn't. Although Matt Carle played admirably in his first NHL season, he didn't have the polish of a professional player. We're thinking that the Sharks don't want to make that same mistake twice.

In Worcester, Petrecki will get the chance to experience hockey at a professional level, and get a feel for the game. That's a good thing, because when he makes it up to the big leagues (possibly even this season), he'll have the polish needed to really succeed. It's nice to see San Jose finally take a page out of Detroit's book, and season their top prospects in the minors a little instead of throwing them into the fray immediately. Petrecki will patrol the Sharks blue line for a long time, and this small bump in the road will do little to affect his long term future with the organization.


 

Joe Callahan

#0 / Defenseman / San Jose Sharks

6-3

215

Dec 20, 1982

 

Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank)Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY)

2008-2009 Stats (New York Islanders)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM SOG SPCT PPG PPA SHG SHA GWG ATOI
18 0 2 2 5 4 6 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 14:59

 

Our two cents:

Joe Callahan isn't going to wow anyone with exceptional offensive skills or be able to play twenty minutes a night against top-tier competition, but he does have some redeeming qualities that could result in him cracking the roster tomorrow when cuts are due.

First and foremost he's a solid defensive defenseman who is going to play a defense first game, a necessary addition considering Huskins requires a big bodied partner to play with. At twenty six years of age Callahan has a cap hit of $.500 M, which serves two purposes: for starters, it allows San Jose to carry a healthy scratch defenseman that will be able to step in and provide the requisite defensive ability you need out of that role. The second is that spending time in Worcester isn't going to be as beneficial for Callahan as it would be for the other blueliners left in camp. He also has a two-way deal, which allows flexibility towards the end of the year in case Wilson wants to bring up Petrecki/Moore/another young defenseman he won't be on the team on October 1st.

With all these factors included, Callahan is FTF's choice for a healthy scratch role.



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