San Jose has reassigned forward Danny O’Regan to their AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. The forward is coming off eight games with the Sharks. He added four assists to the score sheet during his brief time with the big league club.
Despite adding tallies in the assist column at a .5 points-per-game clip, the numbers behind O’Regan’s performance point to a player that was struggling to keep pace with the NHL game, rather than a potential breakout candidate this season.
With O’Regan on the ice at 5v5 this season, San Jose attempted just 46 percent of all shots when adjusted for score and venue, the third-worst mark of all Sharks forwards, if you count Marcus Sorensen. The Sharks were also scoring on nearly 10 percent of all shots they took with O’Regan on the ice, a number that was nearly a full percentage point ahead of the next-best skater.
While researchers have shown that good forwards can help their team sustain a higher-than-average shooting percentage, and his on-ice shooting percentage may have been an indication of skill, O’Regan’s contribution to the Sharks’ shot differential — the publicly available statistic that best predicts future goal scoring — was worse than that of the average skater and worse than that of two players with whom he was competing for ice time: Ryan Carpenter and Barclay Goodrow.
Those factors combined with O’Regan’s waiver-exempt status made this move imminent, given Goodrow’s return from IR and and the need for a roster spot in the wake of Paul Martin’s IR activation. O’Regan posted similar results in very minimal usage last season, as well. His numbers suggest a player who just might not be able to make the jump from AHL scorer to helpful NHL player.
Perhaps there will be an opportunity for him later in the season to play wing, but for the time being, O’Regan is third on the depth chart of fourth-line centers, which renders him AHL material.
The Barracuda also made some moves today, recalling forward Bryan Moore from the ECHL Allen Americans and signing forward Emerson Clark of the ECHL Jacksonville IceMen to a professional tryout. While Clark leads the team in all scoring with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists), he also leads the entire league in penalty minutes (113), with seven fighting majors already this season.
Moore started the season with the Barracuda and will likely continue to be up and down throughout the season.