The Sharks selected Nikolay Goldobin in the first round of the 2014 entry draft because they saw a talented forward who could develop into a two-way player. Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer thinks Goldobin has improved his defensive game to the point where he’s ready for his call up to the San Jose Sharks and the Russian’s offensive game is already there.
So now, after the Barracuda’s 4-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors, we just wait to see what it takes for Goldobin to get the call to San Jose. He’s at a rate higher than 0.75 points per game in the AHL — much higher than is necessary for a player under 22 to indicate success at the NHL level.
It’s fair to like Goldobin’s chances at the highest level and given the Sharks’ struggles offensively I can see plenty of reasons to give him another chance in the NHL. That being said, San Jose needs a center and Daniel O’Regan is averaging more than a point per game and will likely be the next player recalled to the Sharks.
That’s not going to hurt Goldobin’s development any. He will be fine taking the reigns with the Barracuda while O’Regan handles fourth line center duties and can take over next season as the Sharks enter a true transition year. If Goldobin gets a chance sooner than that, you won’t see me complaining; but I won’t expect anything better than that.
Adam Helewka and Barclay Goodrow also scored for the Barracuda who are now in fourth place in the Pacific in the AHL by point percentage. It’s a tight race as four teams in the division find themselves in the top team of the league right now. This speaks to the strength of the minor league systems of the west coast teams in addition to the coming of age of the Sharks’ prospect pool.
The Barracuda play their next game on the road on Friday against the Condors. The Sharks host the Philadelphia Flyers on the same Day. San Jose then hosts Bakersfield on Dec. 31 while the Sharks head to Los Angeles on the same day. Neither team plays on New Year’s Day.