Did you know that Rourke Chartier tied for the San Jose Barracuda lead in games played last year? In his first professional season, the center played in all but one of the Barracuda’s regular season contests, and was, along with veteran John McCarthy, a symbol of consistency on a team that saw multiple players shuttle back and forth to the San Jose Sharks.
Chartier’s play last season was good enough where he may be one of those players this season. He scored 35 points in 67 regular season games during the regular season, finishing his rookie campaign with a rate of 0.52 points per game. Those marks were good enough for sixth and tenth, respectively, on the Pacific Division-winning club, as well as second and sixth among the Barracuda’s talented rookie class.
His WHL scoring rates translate, per Rob Vollman’s factors, to 0.27 points per game in the NHL, while his AHL rate translates to about 0.24 points per game. Assuming he maintains a similar level of production at the next level, that puts Chartier firmly in the range of a bottom six contributor, which the Sharks currently have plenty of.
But it may not be that way for long. Chris Tierney, the team’s current fourth line center, is only signed through this season, and may have a tenuous grip on a roster spot, according to Friend of the Blog and NBC Sports Bay Area Sharks Insider Kevin Kurz. Joel Ward, Jannik Hansen, and Joe Thornton will all become unrestricted free agents next summer as well, and their potential departures would open up spots.
Chartier could also force his way into the NHL with a strong training camp and/or continued success with the Barracuda. Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson has told anyone that will listen that their are spots to be won in training camp. Given the underwhelming performances the Sharks saw from their bottom six players last year, Peter DeBoer and his coaching staff will give a long look to players like Chartier at next month’s training camp.
Name: Rourke Chartier
Age (as of 9/9/17): 21
Last Year’s Ranking: 12
2016-17 Team: San Jose Barracuda
Where he’ll (probably) be next year: San Jose Barracuda
What we like
Strong two-way game, ability to chip in offensively.
What to improve on
Continue to add size and strength.
Chartier’s 200-foot game was on full display when he assisted on Timo Meier’s game-winning goal in the third game of San Jose’s first round series against the Stockton Thunder. He intercepted a pass at the point, carried it through the neutral zone, and set up Meier perfectly. Chartier also led all skaters with seven shots on goal in the contest.