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Boughner Wants Burns & Karlsson on Top PP Unit, Donato in Top-Six



Welcome to Day 3 of San Jose Sharks’ training camp!

It was the same groups as yesterday:

A couple interesting notes: Ryan Donato shared that he’s been playing on a line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane. Meanwhile, Logan Couture, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc have been skating together.

Between these two lines, this suggests that Bob Boughner is trying to stack his top-six, instead of spreading the wealth throughout the top-nine. Boughner also raved about Noah Gregor at center today, could he be the third-line center?

Donato spoke today about what went wrong in Minnesota and how it feels good to have the San Jose coaching staff’s immediate confidence, while Kane discussed the possibility of being named alternate captain. Boughner talked about pushing Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson together on the power play again, and Dylan Gambrell’s development. Finally, Devan Dubnyk shared his thoughts about what happened in Minnesota and Ryan Merkley discussed his off-season growth.

Donato Ready for Opportunity, Kane as Alternate Captain?

Merkley Not Visiting Anymore, Dubnyk Ready for Reset

Bob Boughner, on Noah Gregor:

He’s looked really good the last couple of days. Trying to flip him and Gambrell back and forth in between center. Both guys have looked pretty good.

But Gregor especially has really stood out to me as a guy who’s bigger, stronger. He has that speed to his game. It’s a good competition right now.

Boughner, on Ryan Donato:

Attention to detail. He’s a guy who’s willing to learn, he’s soaking everything up like a sponge.

He loves the game. He works extra. Out there early. We’re counting on him for his offensive ability to be hopefully a top-six player.

Boughner, on having Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns on the top unit of the power play:

That’s our plan.

To me, I think you need both those weapons on your first unit. They’re going to take a good chunk of time if they’re fresh.

One can be at the top, one can be on the flank. You can flip-flop them.

I envision that both those guys will be on the number-one unit.

To be honest with you, both our units are probably going to be evenly strong. We feel comfortable saying we have two good units. That’s what we’re working towards.

Boughner, on Dylan Gambrell’s off-season growth, right-handed ability to take faceoffs:

He’s definitely stronger. He worked on his power, which is something we wanted him to get better at. Not getting knocked off pucks.

He’s more stable in the core area. He’s stronger on the skates.

I don’t want to put too much stress on the right-handed shot. He’s also a winger, he can [still] take draws. He can play both positions. So not at the end of the day, necessarily playing center on the third line. But we still have the ability to put him out for faceoffs.

He can use that speed. I really truly believe that we’re going to be a faster team between our third and fourth lines than we were last year.

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