After agreeing to a one-year, $1.1 million contract extension this summer, the San Jose Sharks have placed center Dylan Gambrell on waivers. Should he clear waivers, his salary will not count against the Sharks’ salary cap. It’s my personal belief, though, that a team looking for a solid fourth-line center will pick him up.
The 2016 second-round pick played in 49 NHL games last season, scoring five goals and seven assists. After making his NHL debut in 2017-18, Gambrell’s first full NHL season came in 2019-20, posting a nearly identical stat line of five goals and six assists over 50 games. Gambrell had much more success with the San Jose Barracuda, though — in his first professional season, he scored 20 goals and added 25 assists in 51 games at the AHL level.
Sharks head coach Bob Boughner said today that it was tough giving Gambrell the news that he was placed on waivers. “There’s tough decisions to be made... I like his game, I think he’s a very trusting player, you know what you’re going to get every night.” Boughner also mentioned that they wanted to work with Gambrell on aspects of his offensive game if he clears waivers, but had high praise for the forward: “He definitely is an NHL player and he deserves to be in the league.”
While Gambrell’s status with the organization remains unknown until tomorrow, the Sharks’ bottom-six is beginning to take shape. As it stands, the fourth-line center position looks to be rookie Jasper Weatherby’s spot to lose. Lane Pederson also remains in contention for that spot, though the team has experimented with him at right-wing, leaving space for both players to make the cut.
In related news, defenseman Nicolas Meloche cleared waivers today and was re-assigned to the Barracuda. Should Gambrell join him, they should both help out a Barracuda squad that projects to be one of the youngest in the American Hockey League.