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Sharks cut 16 more players from training camp

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We’re getting closer to seeing the opening night lineup.

September 20, 2018; Anaheim, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Antti Suomela (40) celebrates his goal scored against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Sharks have trimmed their training camp roster by 16 more players, pushing the roster closer to its final form and giving fans a hint of what the opening night lineup will look like.

The Sharks returned one player to his junior club:

Jake McGrew - F

The rest were assigned to the training camp of the San Jose Barracuda (AHL):

Manuel Wiederer - F

Vincent Praplan - F

Lukas Radil - F

Alex True - F

Francis Perron - F

Maxim Letunov - F

Jayden Halbgewachs - F

Noah Gregor - F

Tim Clifton - F

Jacob Middleton - D

Cavan Fitzgerald - D

Jeremy Roy - D

Nick DeSimone - D

Kyle Wood - D

Keaton Middleton - D

Perhaps the only semi-surprising move in all of this was to send Alex True, Vincent Praplan and Lukas Radil back to the Barracuda training camp — off-season comments by Doug Wilson indicated that the organization rated all three of these players highly, and it was thought that they had outside shots at cracking the full-time roster. While that may still be true, any chance of an NHL appearance for either of these three will now have to come via midseason call-ups.

These moves indicate that the fight for the last few roster spots is down to Antti Suomela, Barclay Goodrow, Marcus Sorensen, Dylan Gambrell and Rourke Chartier. Of those, training camp lineups and practices appear to hint at Suomela having the inside track to the 3C job, with Chartier looking more and more impressive as he fights for the 4C position against the slightly underwhelming Gambrell.

Interestingly, Sasha Chmelevski, who has yet to make a single preseason appearance despite impressing during camp and preseason scrimmages, was absent from the list of cuts, meaning that the 2017 sixth-round draft pick is likely to get a preseason game under his belt before being sent back. Ryan Merkley, who has been excellent through two preseason games, also stays with the big club, though this could be out of a desire to shape the defenseman’s personality by giving him some exposure to how established NHL players conduct themselves.

The move leaves the Sharks training camp roster at 28 players. The updated Sharks roster can be found here.