I started keeping track of the scoring rates of the players on the San Jose Sharks’ American Hockey League affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda, way back in November because I feel it tells us something about their chances of making the NHL.
With a bigger sample size to work with, here’s an update on how the Baby Sharks are doing under head coach Roy Sommer. In two words: Not Bad.
From the original post:
Forwards 21 and younger who average fewer than 0.7 points per game are longshots to make the NHL. Once they hit 22, that number bumps up to a point per game. For defenders, 0.5 points per game will do it if you’re under 22 and 0.7 per game is the goal if you’re older than 22.
Let’s start with the forwards. Danny O’Regan, Timo Meier and Nikolay Goldobin lead the way for San Jose now that Kevin Labanc is (mostly) a regular for the Sharks.
Labanc is obviously still the leader in the clubhouse, albeit in a much smaller sample size, but both O’Regan and Goldobin have put together incredible seasons with great track records. Neither player impressed in their very brief callups (my opinion) but with AHL records like this, it’s only a matter of time before they get extended looks.
O’Regan is second in the team in primary points at even strength. That’s another feather in the Boston University product’s cap. He’s notching 1.9 primary points per 60, behind Marcus Sorensen’s 2.2, and has the most primary assists (11) of any forward on the team. Only Tim Heed matches him.
Meier continues to impress when he is in the AHL. Say what you will about his NHL game (it’s really f*cking good and y’all need to get on this bandwagon before I close the damn door) but he’s been very good when with the Barracuda.
Before we move on, let’s pour one out for Bryan Moore, eh? Dude gets two points in two games and then gets sent packing to the ECHL. That’s a rough ride. Thanks for all the fish, Bryan.
Let’s move on to defenders.
Tim Heed is obviously the guy here, but Joakim Ryan is no slouch either. At 25 it’s clear Heed is too good to continue playing with the Barracuda, but it’s not so obvious what his NHL future holds. He’s looked comfortable with the Sharks, but not to the point where I’m ready to unseat anyone on San Jose’s blue line.
That puts the Sharks in an interesting position moving forward. Do they move Heed? Brenden Dillon? If so, is there any chance at all they get a fair return for either of those players? These are tough questions for Doug Wilson to answer, but it’s also a good problem to have ... I think. Ryan factors in here as well, as does Mirco Mueller, who doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be much of an offensive threat.
This Barracuda team is night-and-day from last year’s team. That San Jose squad limped into the playoffs before being eliminated in the first round by the Ontario Reign. That’s not happening this year. San Jose has a very good chance to win the Calder Cup if the team isn’t pillaged by the Sharks (which would be fine, by the way).
What’s more, the Barracuda will get some solid junior players next year like Jeremy Roy (assuming he’s healthy) and the ‘Cuda should keep some of this talent together for another run. It’s a good time to be a Sharks fan; but it’s not a bad time to be a Barracuda season ticket holder, either.