It’s hard to imagine that a team with 11 players 25 years or younger would be in search of young players to fill voids, but San Jose, like every team, is in a constant search to fill future voids in their roster. As early as next year, the Sharks may be in need of help particularly at the forward positions, and they may look to the current roster in Kentucky for that help. This article is the first of three that will start with the forwards.
Roy Sommer, the head coach of the Kentucky Thoroughblades, the Sharks primary affiliate, has done a great job of molding young players into future NHL players. Some players he has developed this year were considered career minor leaguers until this year. Now those players are now seen as possible role players in the near future.
One such player is center Eric Landry, who before this year had bounced around between Hamilton and St. John of the AHL, with a few brief stints with the Calgary Flames. During the summer of 1999, the Sharks signed Eric Landry with the intention of sending him to Kentucky, as he was expected to provide a lift with the departures Steve Guolla and Herbert Vasiljevs.
Landry has provided more than anyone expected, and if not for the fact that San Jose has been healthy at the forward positions, he would almost certainly have been called into action with San Jose. Landry is 2nd on the team in goals (32) and points (61) and is 5th on the team in PIMS (145).
appropriate for the Sharks 1999/2000 season. Certainly, this has not been a good season
for the San Jose Sharks, but there have been some bright spots. Unfortunately, this season has also had its share of bad and ugly portions for Sharks prospects.
When talking about valuable players for a team, most first think of star players. Clearly, Jaromir Jagr is a valuable player for the Penguins, as is Lindros to the Flyers, as is Marleau to the Sharks. Am I putting Patrick Marleau in the same class as the other two? Certainly not, but he is certainly an important piece of the puzzle to the future of the San Jose Sharks. A puzzle which so far this year, has not resulted the way the Sharks would hope.
This year started great for the Sharks team, but of late, the Sharks have floundered into mediocrity, going from one of the best in the league, to one of the worst. Even when the Sharks were winning during the first month of the season, however, it was veterans such as Owen Nolan and Vincent Damphousse who were performing.
One of the most touted young players in years, Patrick Marleau is now starting to be considered a bust by some San Jose fans, and even reporters who are jumping off the bandwagon. No one can debate that he has struggled far more than expected this year, but to call him a bust is incredibly premature.
In 46 games this year, he has recorded only 10 goals and 14 assists, slower than his pace of last year, when he scored 21 goals and 24 assists in 81 games. During his first two years in the league, he did an excellent job of creating chances for himself, often missing the net from there, but at least getting the chance.
If he does get beat, you know he’s going to the net and he finds a way to get a glove or stick or something on the puck and I think that he is underrated. He’s a big part of why we are where we are today”, Head Coach Roy Sommer