Per the AHL, Rudolfs Balcers was recalled this morning by the San Jose Sharks from their affiliate San Jose Barracuda.
The injury to Joel Ward is stretching an already tight roster a little too thin. As players move up and down the line up, the Sharks are searching for anything that could replaced both Ward and Thornton and keep them afloat. They’ve already tested Danny O’Regan and Marcus Sorensen through out the season, and with few prospects looking NHL-ready, it didn’t look as thought they’d go off the board quite yet.
But Balcers would have been the front-runner for going off the board. The winger has an undeniable offensive touch, racking up 31 points in 44 games with the Barracuda this season. He plays a fast, clean game, only totaling eight penalty minutes in his first professional season. There’s a reason he ranked number nine in this summer’s Top 25 Under 25. Balcers is exciting to watch.
His size is still the biggest concern. At 5-foot-11 and 174 pounds, Balcers is small, especially for a fourth liner, which seems to be the hole the Sharks are trying to plug.
There’s no word on where he’ll fit into the line up just yet, assuming he’ll be on the ice tonight. The Barracuda also play today, so there’s not a lot of sense in calling him up just to scratch him — even if that’s nearly exactly what they did to Tim Heed.
The 20-year-old Latvia native was drafted 142 overall in the fifth round by the Sharks in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.