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Sharks claim Jonah Gadjovich off waivers, re-assign Raska, Melnichuk

Gadjovich, who had a strong AHL season last year, joins the fight for the Sharks’ bottom-six.

Vancouver Canucks left wing Jonah Gadjovich (41) skates up ice during their NHL game against the Calgary Flames at Rogers Arena on May 16, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Photo by Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s getting to that point in the NHL preseason where the waiver wire is quite busy, with all 32 teams trimming down their rosters before Opening Night. For teams like the San Jose Sharks in the midst of a reboot looking for undervalued young talent, this time of the year is especially key for finding those players. It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the Sharks decided to add to their depth, claiming left-winger Jonah Gadjovich off of waivers from the Vancouver Canucks.

Gadjovich played most of the 2020-21 season with the AHL’s Utica Comets, and made quite the impact — in 19 games, he scored 15 goals and had 3 assists. His goals-per-game ratio in the AHL was 0.79, the best in the league by skaters who appeared in 10 or more games. He also appeared in one game for the Canucks, only skating five minutes before a fighting major and a 10-minute misconduct for agitating ended his night.

“Jonah is a proven goal scorer at every level he has competed in during his junior and professional career, which includes the 2018 World Juniors with Team Canada,” said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a release. “He is a skater who can use his size to his advantage, and we look forward to having him join our club.”

The 22-year-old Ontario native began his career in the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack, playing four seasons with the club and wearing the ‘A’ in his final year. Over 228 games, he tallied 155 points (89 goals, 66 assists), while also racking up 175 penalty minutes. He was originally selected in the second round (55th overall) of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Canucks.

The Sharks also re-assigned forward Adam Raska and goaltender Alexei Melnichuk to the San Jose Barracuda. It’s a bit of a disappointing end to Raska’s pre-season campaign, in which the 2020 seventh-round pick made a strong impression with his gritty style of play, though it may be only a matter of time before he’s brought back up to the NHL for that same reason. Meanwhile, the re-assignment of Melnichuk means that Adin Hill is on track to recover from the wrist issue that he suffered on Sunday. James Reimer had a maintenance day on Wednesday, but he returned to practice today.

The training camp roster is nearing its final stage, with the roster at 27 players now.