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San Jose Sharks

First Guess at Who Sharks Are Bringing to Europe

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Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Which players will the San Jose Sharks bring to Europe?

Here’s my 6 AM guess – I emphasize “guess” – based on watching all five pre-season games. I might be the only person who’s not a Sharks employee who’s watched all five!

Keep in the mind, this isn’t a projection of the Sharks’ opening night roster. Because the Sharks will be in Europe, far from their AHL affiliate, they’re allowed to bring up to 27 players to Berlin and Prague, so they’re easily covered in case of last-minute injury.

Also, it’s my understanding that normal injured reserve rules apply: So the Sharks can place an Alexander Barabanov on IR, retroactive to when he got hurt, and he will be eligible seven days after his injury to return to action. Injured players are also allowed to travel with the team.

So I’m guessing both winger Barabanov and defenseman Markus Nutivaara are placed on IR, they may or may not travel with the team, and it’s possible that they’ll be available by the Oct. 7 and 8 season-opening matches in Prague.

Let’s see how right I am, the Sharks should announce their European roster later today.

Forwards (16)

Nick Bonino
Thomas Bordeleau
Logan Couture
William Eklund
Jonah Gadjovich
Noah Gregor
Danil Gushchin
Tomas Hertl
Luke Kunin
Kevin Labanc
Oskar Lindblom
Steven Lorentz
Timo Meier
Matt Nieto
Nico Sturm
Evgeny Svechnikov

A few scattered thoughts: I think Bordeleau has outperformed fellow top prospect Eklund in camp…Gadjovich, who isn’t waiver-exempt, has raised his level against lower-level competition, can he continue to make plays, and be more than a physical energy guy when the games count? He has had an eye-opening camp…I don’t think anybody expected Gushchin to get this far, but he’s deserved it, he’s been good in his two preseason appearances so far…I actually think Gushchin was better in his first preseason appearance, better puck management, than his hat trick performance last night…Sturm was hurt last night in Vegas, but I’m leaving him on the roster because placing him on IR puts him at risk of missing the Oct. 7 season opener…if Sturm has a week-to-week injury, my guess is Scott Reedy takes his place.

Defensemen (8)

Matt Benning
Nick Cicek
Mario Ferraro
Scott Harrington
Erik Karlsson
Jaycob Megna
Radim Simek
Marc-Edouard Vlasic

A few scattered thoughts: Is Ryan Merkley on the outs? Merkley was conspicuously absent from either split-squad game, and assistant coach Scott Gordon appeared to suggest to me that Merkley was healthy…per Maddie Dutra of Fear the Fin, Merkley was practicing with his group yesterday morning and appeared healthy…if the San Jose Sharks leave Merkley at home, Cicek might be a surprise addition to the European roster, but consider that Cicek played the most of all defensemen not named Karlsson in Vegas…David Quinn was impressed by Cicek’s performance in Ontario, telling me that was the best work that he’s seen all camp from the young defenseman…I could see Santeri Hatakka over Cicek too.

Goalies (3)

Aaron Dell
Kappo Kahkonen
James Reimer

There should be no surprises here.

Let’s check where I was right, where I was wrong in a few hours!

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