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Are Sharks Wrong? Should Merkley Start in NHL?



Ryan Merkley

Erik and JD discuss the San Jose Sharks’ newest signing, Fredrik Claesson. Then we debate the merits of Ryan Merkley starting with the Sharks or the Barracuda and if it’s better for his development to dive right in or dominate a lower level first (5:00). We end the show by looking at the San Jose Sharks’ projected defensive pairings and what the expectations are for them (23:00).



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Mike Crellin

I think you assessment of Merkley in the AHL is off on two main points.

#1 if you want him to be a sheltered PP guy there is a massive benefit to having get as many PP reps as possible to learn how to run it. He doesn’t get that with the Sharks.

#2 it’s a huge jump in speed and talent between the OHL and the AHL. Playing top 4 in the AHL gives him reps against replacement level NHL players which is the same as sheltered minutes.


1) You’ve taken this out of the context of the reason he should be there in the first place. To get see what you have at the NHL level.

2) This is just not correct.

Sheng Peng

Blame Erik! But on this, I tend to agree with JD


The not giving young guys a shot, seeing what you have, when there’s nothing on the line is peak Boughner, who learned it from, you guessed it, DeBoer. That’s just not his MO and why I doubt young players really aren’t going to be given a fair shake. E.g. Marleau and Sorenson shouldn’t be anywhere near the team but they’re both vets.

Sheng Peng

Highly disagree here: Gregor, Leonard, and it looks like Knyzhov and Pasichnuk are getting looks here, especially Gregor and Leonard in high-leverage roles. Marleau was very good last year in San Jose (not so much PIT) and Sorensen was excellent in 18-19.

Honestly, it speaks more to the caliber of young talent in San Jose that they can’t take a job from a Sorensen, etc. And if anything, I would’ve raised the bar higher by signing better UFAs, force the young kids to really leap some NHL talent

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