Tomorrow is the official start of the 2021 San Jose Sharks season, but this isn’t exactly “New Year, New Sharks”. Head coach Bob Boughner and Company hope several key players can bounce back and just a few changes to the roster will be enough.
Matt Nieto returns to the Bay Area after a stint with the Avalanche. Patrick Marleau is also back from 12 games with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ryan Donato was added to help with the goal scoring and Devan Dubnyk was called in to say they tried something to help the goalkeeper.
The main finish, however, is Joe Thornton. If changes in the dressing room last season played a role, as some have speculated about the beginning of the post-Pavelski era, then Joe Thornton’s absence leaves a crater in the dressing room that is truly impossible to fill.
The final transactions as the list of sharks took shape: striker Maxim Letunov will start the season with an injured reserve and, according to the NHL, he is unavailable due to COVID logs. Artemi Kniazev has been brought back to his junior club. Forwards Sasha Chmelevski and Jeffrey Viel have been assigned to the San Jose Barracuda.
Rudolphs Balcers, acquired from waivers by the Ottawa Senators, will round out the group of strikers at 13. However, he is currently listed as an NHL non-roster. In addition to visa issues, closed border and quarantine procedures must also be considered before Balcers can join the sharks.
All teams this season must promote a taxi squad of four to six players and three goalkeepers between their squad and the taxi squad.
These are your 2021 San Jose Sharks:
2021 San Jose Sharks roster
Dylan Gambrell, Evander Kane, Stefan Noesen, Patrick Marleau, Ryan Donato, Marcus Sorensen, Timo Meier, Logan Couture, Joel Kellman, Tomas Hertl, Kevin Labanc, Matt Nieto
Jacob Middleton, Mario Ferraro, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Radim Simek, Erik Karlsson, Nikolai Knyzhov and Brent Burns
Martin Jones, Devan Dubnyk
Taxi Squad (6)
Fredrik Handmark (F), John Leonard (F), Noah Gregor (F), Brinson Pasichnuk (D), Nicolas Meloche (D), Alexei Melnichuk (G)