There have been a number of young prospects in the San Jose Sharks getting looks at the NHL level early this season. While Jasper Weatherby, for example, is playing a nightly role up front, defenseman Santeri Hatakka’s usage has been a lot less steady.
Hatakka started the year as an extra for the San Jose Sharks, waiting until October 30th to make his NHL debut against the Winnipeg Jets. Since then, the Sharks’ 2019 sixth-round draft selection has bounced in and out of the lineup, registering just one assist over 13 minutes of ice time across seven games. Five of those seven appearances were while four regular Sharks defensemen were in COVID protocol.
Sharks head coach Bob Boughner addressed the management of Hatakka’s minutes compared to what he could earn with the San Jose Barracuda.
“We definitely want him to play,” Boughner said. “Simek responded well from being sat a couple games. Messages like that have to be sent every once in a while. Hatakka has played decent hockey for us, and we want to make sure he’s playing a lot, so we’ll see. I mean, we’ve been fairly, knock on wood, healthy in the backend here.”
The Sharks aren’t asking Hatakka to put numbers like top defensemen Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, they just want him to move the puck efficiently and defend well.
The 20-year-old, however, appears to be sitting out once again tonight in favor of veterans Simek and Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Could Hatakka’s development be better served by big minutes in the AHL?
On the right side of the line-up card, forward Scott Reedy will make his NHL debut for the San Jose Sharks tonight.
Before Monday’s call-up, Reedy was the co-leader on the Barracuda in goals (8) and points (12) in 12 games. His competitive spirit and net-front presence were elements that Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer brought up to the Sharks’ staff.
— Michael Gutnick (@michaelgutnick) November 18, 2021
“He’s been their most consistent guy when it comes to offense,” Boughner said. “He has done a good job on their net-front on the power play. He’s a guy where the puck follows him a little bit. He deserves a chance. It never hurts to add a right shot to our lineup. I’m excited to see him.”
With the bottom-six struggling to find the back of the net as of late, Boughner believes he can bring a different look to that area.
“I’m hoping he can bring some offense into our bottom-six,” Boughner said. “He’s a big guy around the net. He’s strong on pucks. We’ve had some loose pucks just hanging around the paint. He’ll play with Cogliano and Bonino, two honest guys that play a 200-foot game. That’s a good line for him to start on.”
Ahead of Monday’s game, Reedy approached Weatherby for some advice on becoming the seventh San Jose skater to make an NHL debut this season.
“He came up to me today and asked for a little advice,” Weatherby said. “I just said, ‘Hey, play your game. You’re a great hockey player and you’re going to do extremely well at this level.’ I just tried to give him as much confidence as I can.”
Weatherby and Reedy spent the last three years against one another during their college hockey days and have experienced some chemistry from previous Sharks development camps.
“He’s a great guy,” Weatherby said. “He’s a really good player and luckily he’s on my team now.”
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) November 22, 2021
San Jose Sharks (8-8-1)
Scott Reedy is expected to make his NHL debut tonight!
— The Content Boyz (@LockedOnSharks) November 22, 2021
Carolina Hurricanes (14-2-0)
Per the Hurricanes, Ethan Bear is in COVID protocol:
Teravainen – Aho – Jarvis
Niederreiter – Trocheck – Necas
Svechnikov – Staal – Fast
Martinook – Kotkaniemi – Stepan / Lorentz
Slavin – Smith
Skjei – Pesce
Cole – DeAngelo
Where to Watch
Puck drop against Carolina is 7:30 PM PT at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California and ESPN+. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.
Can the San Jose Sharks upset the Eastern Conference-leading Hurricanes tonight? Bet on it at Fanduel’s NHL sportsbook.
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