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Goldobin to play in Europe this season after being cut from camp roster

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Sharks still need to cut one additional forward before tomorrow's deadline.

Bruce Bennett

Eighteen-year-old first-round draft pick Nikolay Goldobin made it farther in training camp than many expected, outlasting significantly older and more established players like Freddie Hamilton, but he won't make it to the opening night roster. Goldobin, who starred early in the preseason schedule before sitting out the final two exhibition games, was one of the Sharks' last training camp roster cuts as the team also waived defenseman Taylor Doherty and re-assigned defenseman Taylor Fedun to AHL Worcester today.

Goldobin won't, however, be returning to major junior hockey either. For one thing, his old Ontario Hockey League team in Sarnia drafted the highly-touted Pavel Zacha in this summer's import draft meaning they've used up their league-mandated quota of European-born players and wouldn't be able to accept Goldobin were he to return without making a trade. They won't have to worry about that as Goldobin told reporters at Sharks Ice today that he'll instead be spending the season in Europe, likely in either Finland or Germany (UPDATE: Goldobin will play for HIFK of the Finnish Elite League). Since he isn't eligible to play in the AHL, the Sharks assigning Goldobin to a European league is their best option in terms of having the ability to potentially recall him to the big club at some point during the season. It also gives Goldobin the opportunity to improve his upper-body strength competing against older players and provides a new challenge after he dominated the OHL last season.

With Raffi Torres, James Sheppard and Tyler Kennedy presumably beginning the year on injured reserve, the Sharks have one forward left to cut. Barclay Goodrow's junior coach tweeted that Goodrow won't be that cut (and Todd McLellan seemed to echo that sentiment) but it's still unclear what the Sharks will do given that the other forwards remaining (apart from Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto and Chris Tierney, whose spots are largely assured) need to be placed on waivers in order to be demoted yet none of them were this morning, the last opportunity for teams to do so prior to tomorrow's 2PM Pacific deadline. It's possible the Sharks will send Goodrow down tomorrow in order to whittle the roster down to 23 before waiving someone like Eriah Hayes then recalling Goodrow prior to Wednesday night's game. At any rate, we'll know the official opening night roster by this time tomorrow.