FTF Regular Season Cheat Sheet: Fringe Forwards
The season is just around the corner (never really understood that phrasing, as time is linear and all), and we thought it would be great to give you a quick rundown on the roster, with a little blurb on each player. If you feel like we've covered this before, well, we have. But we're going to expand on it a little, include the stories that we've written on the players over the past year and give our input on what we expect next season. We don't know exactly how the lines will shake up yet, so everything from here on out is going to be based off the line up McLellan iced in the final preseason game against Phoenix.
Final cuts on Tuesday. God save us all.
#17 / Center / San Jose Sharks
Jan 30, 1985
Previous FTF Coverage: Spotlight's on that McGinn Kid (Mr. Plank), No timetable for Torrey Mitchell's return (WTC, Teas), Torrey Mitchell: "It sucks" (WTC, TCY)
None. Injury kept Torrey Mitchell out the entire season.
Our two cents:
Things were finally looking up for Torrey. After an unfortunate incident where he broke his leg in the preseason, it seemed as if he'd never get healthy. Setback after setback occurred, and soon the regular season was in the rear view mirror. He was healthy enough to appear in the postseason, going pointless in four games but impressing with his speed and grit. Torrey practically penciled in to center the third line in 2009-2010.
It appears though that the injury bug is a tough one to kick (leg pun, /rimshot) for Mitchell. He's back with another leg ailment (tendinitis this time), that's preventing him from skating with the team. It's odd to have to put him in the fringe section, but until he can prove that he's healthy, there's no guarantee that he will play any time soon.
Mitchell is a player who depends on his speed, it's the most important aspect of his game. The lingering leg problems are a glaring red flag though, and it's unknown if he'll ever be the same player again. If he does fully recover and can play this year, look for him to line up next to Malhotra on the right side. He would be a huge upgrade over any of the other fringe guys who would occupy the spot.
#45 / Left Wing / San Jose Sharks
Feb 07, 1976
Previous FTF Coverage: A Week in Review (Mr. Plank), Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY), Should Shelley Dress in April? (Mr. Plank)
Our two cents:
San Jose's resident tough guy is back for his third season with the team (two and a half really). He's never been anything more than protection for the top lines, as he doesn't kill penalties, he doesn't score, and he's pretty shoddy in every area of the ice. But he'll most definitely start the year with the team (either in a fourth line role or as a healthy scratch).
As much as we love to see Shelley fight, he's kind of a liability every time his skates touch the ice. He takes alot of penalties, and doesn't contribute to any part of the team's game. Last year, whether it was due to these problems or not, he only skated in a little more than 10% of each game, which causes some problems on the other lines.
He'll play whether we like it or not, but if Staubitz continues to impress the coaches and the front office, this might be Jody's last run in teal.
#0 / Center / San Jose Sharks
Apr 29, 1987
Previous FTF Coverage: Ferriero gets another start (Evilducks), Ferriero getting looks from coaching staff (TCY), Sharks sign Benn Ferriero (SwisherThresher)
2008-2009 Stats (Boston College)
Our two cents:
Ferriero's decision to return to college instead of playing for the Phoenix Coyotes (7th round, 196th overall) wound up being a good choice. Now Ferriero (singed as a free agent out of Boston College by the Sharks) has a legitimate chance of making the roster now that Torrey Mitchell is injured.
He's taken hold of the opportunity, impressing the coaching staff with his play and leading the team in preseason scoring (3 goals, 7 points). He's more of a skill player than anything else, but he plays physical and seems to have a nose for the puck.
He's the odds on favorite to make the team (over Ortmeyer), but would probably benefit from playing time in Worcester. However, if he makes line three and sees significant minutes, he could surprise Sharks fans this year.
#41 / Center / San Jose Sharks
Mar 28, 1989
Previous FTF Coverage: Sharks Camp Down to 29: Petrecki, Couture among those sent down (mymclife), A Week in Review (Mr. Plank), Observations from Teal and White 2009 (Mr. Plank/TCY), Notes on Couture from Monday's Rookie Skate (TCY/Mr. Plank), Couture Called up to Worcester (TCY)
2008-2009 Stats (Ottawa 67's)
Our two cents:
You don't have to hang around FTF long to see that we're pretty high on Couture. Even still, we support the team's decision to send the 2007 9th overall pick to Worcester, even though he's capable of playing on the team.
Couture was one of the most impressive forwards in camp this year, but he has a few things working against him. First, the high expectations that come with being a top ten pick have plagued him so far in his career. Second, he has very little professional experience (only four AHL playoff games last year). Most importantly, though he's too skilled to fill a lower line role.
Couture is a pure center, and even though he might be capable, he won't be supplanting either of the top two centers on the team. Therefore, it's probably better to let the 20 year old grow in Worcester, where he'll get top line minutes playing with quality forwards. If he has a strong season, he'll be a quality injury filler and depth skill player. He showed ability to both kill penalties and quarterback the power play. We expect a solid NHL career for him.