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The Daily Chum: What to make of the Sharks prospect development camp

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NHL: NHL Draft Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks just wrapped up their prospect development camp with a pair of scrimmages at Sharks Ice on Tuesday. We heard about the elite speed of Dylan Gambrell, saw a penalty shot and re-fell in love with Timo Meier. Or, I did, anyway.

So what’s the takeaway from this mini camp three months before the regular season begins? The Sharks should be better this year. That’s not a criticism on last year’s team so much as it is a bit of optimism about the group of players coming together for the 2016-17 campaign.

San Jose should benefit from the addition of players like David Schlemko and Mikkel Boedker, but Timo Meier may prove to be a real wild card for the Sharks. I loved what I saw from him during training camp last year and feel he’s a mortal lock to make the team if he puts together a similar effort this year.

Here’s what Friend of the Blog Kevin Kurz said about Meier in the link provided above:

Meier was the standout performer in the prospect scrimmage held at Sharks Ice on Tuesday. He potted a hat trick (including a penalty shot goal) and his size, hands and physicality were all on display. It’s early, but I have him penciled in on the opening night roster, especially after his strong performance in last year’s camp and his subsequent dominant season in juniors.

That sounds pretty good to me. Make no bones about it, jumping from the relatively weak Quebec Major Junior Hockey League to the NHL will be difficult for Meier, but he’s got all the tools in the world to make it happen. Where a player like Nikolay Goldobin likely needs more time in the AHL (or will be getting it whether he needs it or not, I guess), Meier seems to be a very balanced player right now with a sizable ceiling.

Looking a little further down the pipeline, it seems the Sharks may have a solid depth player in Gambrell going forward. He’ll head back to Pioneer for his sophomore season, but could be a contributor in two or three years. I’m not crazy about the value the Sharks got from their second round pick, but now that it’s been done there’s not much reason to harp on it.

From the Gackle story linked above:

“He was a good skater when he was 16, but he’s elite now,” Montgomery said. “He backs people off with his speed, and he can make his passes and take shots at his top speed, which makes him really dangerous.”

Sounds good to me!

Patrick McNally also tallied a hat trick in the scrimmage, which is wild considering the defender only scored once in 35 games with the Barracuda last season. Let’s hold out hope that he’s found his scoring touch rather than assuming this is a fluke.

All in all, another successful dev camp is in the books. Now things will get very quiet for the next couple of months, so I hope you’re ready for my magnum opus on Sharks as Pokemon.

Just kidding. For now.