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Predicting the Sharks opening night roster

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San Jose's roster is now down to 27. Four more cuts are to come...who will it be?

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With Timo Meier sent back to the QMJHL, the Sharks roster stands at 27, just four cuts away from being ready for opening night against the Kings. That gives us a real good idea of which battles still need to be sorted out in camp and puts us in a position to at least guestimate about what the lines will look like.

There have already been a few predictions bandied about in the comments on the Meier post, which you should read, as they inspired this post. Here's the roster as it stands:

Forwards

MIKE BROWN

LOGAN COUTURE

JOONAS DONSKOI

NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

BARCLAY GOODROW

TOMAS HERTL

MELKER KARLSSON

PATRICK MARLEAU

FRAZER MCLAREN

MATT NIETO

JOE PAVELSKI

BEN SMITH

JOE THORNTON

CHRIS TIERNEY

RAFFI TORRES

JOEL WARD

TOMMY WINGELS

Defenseman

JUSTIN BRAUN

BRENT BURNS

DYLAN DEMELO

BRENDEN DILLON

PAUL MARTIN

MIRCO MUELLER

MATT TENNYSON

MARC-EDOUARD VLASIC

Goalies

MARTIN JONES

ALEX STALOCK

That's eight defenseman, a pair of goalies and 17 forwards. We can bypass looking at the mortal locks to make the roster, so let's take a look at the question marks. I'm operating under the assumption that Melker Karlsson will not be good to go on opening night, so that gives us an extra roster slot to play with.

Forwards

JOONAS DONSKOI

NIKOLAY GOLDOBIN

BARCLAY GOODROW

FRAZER MCLAREN

BEN SMITH

CHRIS TIERNEY

Since there will (probably) only be one defenseman cut, we need to slice out two forwards from this list. McLaren is almost certainly being sent to the Barracuda, so that makes that easy. That bring us to five forwards competing for four spots. Goodrow will almost certainly make the cut, and my gut says Donskoi will open the season with the big team, too. I think Smith is also sticking with the NHL team.

So that leaves Tierney and Goldobin fighting over the final spot. Right now, I'd probably go with Goldobin, but I can probably be talked out of it.

As far as defenseman are concerned, I don't think there's much doubt it'll be Mueller heading to the Barracuda. So that would leave the opening night roster looking something like this...

Forwards: Brown, Couture, Donskoi, Goldobin, Goodrow, Hertl, Marleau, Nieto, Pavelski, Smith, Thornton, Torres, Ward, Wingels

Defenseman: Vlasic, Braun, Martin, Burns, Dillon, Demelo, Tennyson

Goalies: Jones, Stalock

Which could make the lines look something like this:

Donskoi - Thornton - Pavelski

Ward - Couture - Marleau

Nieto - Hertl - Wingels

Torres - Smith - Goldobin

Vlasic - Braun

Burns - Martin

Dillon - Demelo

Who do you think is going to take up the final few roster slots? And then how should the Sharks line up against the Kings?