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Sharks return Ryan Merkley to the Guelph Storm

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The 18-year-old wonder will be back in the OHL for now.

Sep 25, 2018; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) and San Jose Sharks defenseman Ryan Merkley (6) battle for the puck during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Wilson announced today that 2018 first-round pick Ryan Merkley would be returned to his junior club, leaving the Sharks training camp roster at 26 players.

After being the last junior-eligible player standing after Tuesday morning’s round of cuts, it wouldn’t have been outlandish to assume that Merkley could make the opening night roster and get the maximum nine games in before risking burning a year of his entry-level contract. However, a crowded blue line meant Merkley would return to Guelph.

The Sharks’ current training camp roster can be viewed here. Tonight is their final preseason game at home in which they will be taking on the Calgary Flames, before heading to Vegas for the preseason finale.