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:
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.
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?