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Player Power Rankings: Preseason is the season

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The kids are alright. Well, these five are. The rest are just okay.

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 30: Shea Theodore #27 of the Vegas Golden Knights and Barclay Goodrow #23 of the San Jose Sharks go for the puck during Game Three of the Western Conference Second Round during the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at SAP Center on April Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Welcome to Fear the Fin’s weekly(ish) player power rankings. Who had the biggest impact, the best goals or the prettiest smile in the week that was, and who you should totally grab off of waivers in your fantasy league to stick it to Derek in accounts receivable. All rankings subject to the whims of fate and whatever we’re feeling in the moment.

Our Sharks are working out their kinks in preseason action, and we’re working out the kinks in our preseason, so let us know what you think in the comments!

1. Barclay Goodrow

Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
3 2 3 5 5 0 5 50.21
3 2 3 5 5 0 5 50.21

The man named after your parents’ investment advisor at Merrill Lynch put on a show this week, and has a roster spot in his sights. In a week that saw a pretty large amount of roster turnover every day, Barclay Goodrow has been a consistent force for good. For what it’s worth on a preseason roster in flux, Goodrow leads the young crew in points, goals, assists, primary assists, though there are a lot of ties at the top with such a small sample size. Goodrow was a high event player though, and he saw an awful lot of rubber thrown back in his direction; his 50.21 percent Corsi for, while above 50 (that’s good) was 24th of the 29 skaters who saw action for the Sharks this week (that’s bad).

Still, while penalty shots aren’t worth any more than regular goals on the score sheet, they’re worth a whole lot more in my heart, so here we are.

2. Rourke Chartier

Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
3 1 3 4 2 0 7 51.61
3 1 3 4 2 0 7 51.61

If this were a power rankings of good hockey names, Rourke Chartier would be listed at every possible position. It’s just regular rankings, though, so here he sits. After a long and tragic history with concussions, it has been a real treat to see Chartier on the big stage and producing. Further, it is a relief to see that he did not seem to play with too much hesitation or trepidation, and spent a fair amount of his offensive zone time driving to the slot for scoring chances. Indeed, Chartier’s seven shots on goal lead the preseason club, and his 11 shot attempts are second.

That’s enough of shooting, check out this pass on a two on one against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. I particularly like how Chartier ducks his head just in case Joonas Donskoi misses by a mile and domes him with the shot. That’s thinking ahead.

3. Ryan Merkley

Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
2 0 0 0 0 2 2 62.5
2 0 0 0 0 2 2 62.5

Okay, that’s a lot of zeroes, but hear me out. This is a situation where the box score fails to tell the full story. Ryan Merkley’s vision and decision making is more polished and confident than it has any right to be at 18 years old. During both preseason games that the 2018 first round pick played, he looked dangerous almost every shift and made plays and decisions in the offensive zone that would have been impressive for a 25-year-old. His 62.5 percent Corsi share at 5-on-5 ranks fourth among players with at least two appearances this preseason, only behind Tomas Hertl, Donskoi, and Kevin Labanc, all of whom are proven NHL players and none of whom are defensemen. He’s the real deal.

4. Tomas Hertl

Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
2 0 3 3 3 0 6 73.54
2 0 3 3 3 0 6 73.54

Tomas Hertl’s line, along with Timo Meier and center Logan Couture, was dominant during Saturday night’s shoot out loss to the Vegas (Golden) Knights. Not only was that line a puck possession force whenever they were on the ice together, Hertl looks to have been the driver of that success. His relative Corsi for of 40.49 led the team that night, and it was during that very domination that the adorable and gigantic Czech notched two of his three primary assists for the week. Here’s my favorite:

Most indications point toward Hertl starting the season on Couture’s left wing on the second line, but the way he no-look passes the puck off to Meier here and drives the net to create crease confusion shows a versatility and an ability to generate offense about which we can’t help but be excited.

5. Ivan Chekhovich

Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
Games Played Goals Assists Points Primary Points Penalty Minutes Shots on Goal 5v5 adj Corsi for %
1 2 1 3 3 0 6 63.15
1 2 1 3 3 0 6 63.15

It was only one game, otherwise the 2017 seventh round pick (212 overall) would be higher on this list, because that game was a show. From start to finish, Ivan Chekhovich was everywhere creating offense: his nine shot attempts sits in a three way tie for fifth on the entire roster, and he only played one game. During Tuesday’s win over the Ducks, Chekhovich’s first and last of the preseason, he led the Sharks in pretty much everything: goals, points, shots, shot attempts, high danger chances, letters on jersey, all of it. Both of Chekhovich’s goals came as a result of being in the right place in the low slot in order to capitalize on a rebound.

The man has a nose for the net. On both of his goals, Chekhovich drives the slot, knowing that an opportunity will arise. Go to the net and good things happen, said someone who has probably never been hit with a Brent Burns slap shot, and our friend Ivan showed some real skill following that very mantra.

Honorable Mentions

Antti Suomela:
His first game was a little rough to watch, but he picked it up in a big way in Anaheim on Thursday. His pass from the defensive blue line to create a two-on-one for Donskoi and Kevin Labanc was something special, and if he can start to string together a few consistently strong games, the third line center spot is his to lose.

Antoine Bibeau:
In Bibeau’s lone appearance, he didn’t face a whole lot of rubber, only seeing 16 shots on net, but he stopped all but one, including looking calm and collected during a few pretty wild scrambles in his zone. At this point, we have to assume he has the inside track on the starter position for the Barracuda.

Erik Karlsson:
Okay, so maybe Karlsson didn’t play a single game for the Sharks yet this week, but we’re all just so excited he almost made this list anyway. After his introduction to Sharks fans on Saturday night and his mingling with them at the Fan Fest on Sunday, he won over any doubters that may have remained with this:

Give me my heart back, Erik. I need it.