Despite lacking the services of the organization's top two prospects in Nikolay Goldobin and Mirco Mueller, a team of Sharks rookies pushed a squad of their Anaheim Ducks counterparts that included recent first-rounders Nick Ritchie and Shea Theodore to a shootout last night at the Ducks' practice facility in Orange County. Goldobin and Mueller are expected to be in the lineup tonight as the Sharks and Ducks prospect teams face off once again, this time at Honda Center.
By all accounts, Chris Tierney was one of the best players on the ice in the Sharks' 5-4 shootout loss last night, potting a goal and an assist, and he's certainly someone to keep an eye on tonight assuming he stays in the lineup. Raffi Torres' injury has opened up a forward spot on the big club and it's entirely possible Tierney, coming off a monster season in the OHL, could beat out the likes of Freddie Hamilton and Tye McGinn for it with an impressive camp.
It's always a delicate balancing act between excitement at getting the season's first taste of competitive hockey and reading too much into a miniscule sample size when it comes to these prospect games. Tomas Hertl didn't look overly impressive at the YoungStars tournament in Penticton last September less than a month before setting the NHL on fire so it would seem unwise to get too high or low on a prospect based on a couple of exhibition games. But this is still a useful evaluation tool for Sharks management heading into training camp and it's a first glimpse at some of the organization's recently accrued young talent for fans.
The game begins at 5PM Pacific, at which point the stream below from AnaheimDucks.com should update with a live video broadcast.