Rookies Prep for "YoungStar Tournament"

Sharks' first game will be carried live on sjsharks.com

Saturday, 09.11.2010 / 12:15 PM PT / News
By Cecile Nguyen  - Internet Services Assistant
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Rookies Prep for \"YoungStar Tournament\"

Defensman Nick Petrecki will be one of the rookies in the "YoungStar Tournament"

The familiar tapping sound of a puck making contact with a composite hockey stick, the same tap is heard twice more as crisp tape-to-tape passes are completed before a zing pierces the cold air as the same puck hits the back post of the empty goal net.

And then the whistle sounds.

Over 30 Sharks rookies and prospects stopped their skating, passing and shooting and converge around Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommers as he instructs the young players during the second day of rookie practice.

During a quiet Saturday morning practice, in the seclusion of the south rink of Sharks Ice at San Jose, the rookies performed various drills under the guidance of Sommers and Vice President and Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas.

“We have guys here for all different kinds of reasons,” said Thomas. “We’re evaluating where they are going to fit within our organization, if they are signed already, and also if they qualify for an entry-level deal, an American Hockey League contract or an NHL contract.”

A good evaluation instrument for the Sharks hockey operations staff will be having the youthful Sharks participating in the Inaugural “YoungStars” rookie tournament that begins this Sunday in Penticton, British Columbia.

“It’s great to get back involved in a four or five-team tournament,” Thomas said. “You get to see the young players from other organizations and have them go up against our guys.”

San Jose has participated in some form of a rookie tournament in recent years, however the past few years’ tournaments were much smaller in degree than this season’s.

“This year’s tournament is very similar to the tournament we had within our division with Anaheim, Phoenix, L.A. and ourselves,” added Thomas. “We had it for three or four years, but unfortunately it fell apart for a couple of reasons like teams going to Europe for training camps.”

The five teams involved in the “YoungStar Tournament,” the Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks, will play a round-robin type tournament over a span of five-day starting tomorrow.

Thomas cites many benefits for players, who come from either the Juniors, Europe, Canadian or American colleges, to be involved in tournament like this.

“It allows them to measure themselves up against people in their own age group and see where they are at personally in their career,” he said. “Hockey is a very physical game, a very competitive game, a lot of times physical and aggressive players can’t really show what they have when they are competing against guys with the same jerseys on.”

But the “YoungStar Tournament” doesn’t solely benefit the young players involved.

“It’s a great opportunity too for hockey operations staff,” Thomas added. “Not only to evaluate our players but to see four other teams and see where their players are. And to evaluate ourselves in how it’s going in recruitment and free agency, etc. It’s an enormous benefit for the players and the staff.”

Thomas said that the same evaluation process will be used on the rookies as with everyone else at this year’s tournament. The Sharks staff will be looking at how well the players compete and well as their hockey sense in a game situation

“Everyone is at a different spot,” said Thomas. “We have 18-year-olds who are potentially looking for an entry-level contracts, we have kids from American and Canadian universities looking for free agent contracts.”

The Sharks rookies and prospects will have one final day of practice before flying north to Canada to take on the Anaheim Ducks’ rookies Sunday, Sept. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be carried live on sjsharks.com.

San Jose will play the Vancouver Canucks Monday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m. and their final game of the tournament will take place Sept. 15 against the Edmonton Oilers.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Pavelski 76 36 31 9 67
L. Couture 76 25 37 -4 62
J. Thornton 72 14 48 -5 62
B. Burns 76 16 40 -6 56
P. Marleau 76 17 36 -17 53
T. Wingels 69 15 20 -5 35
T. Hertl 76 12 17 -2 29
M. Nieto 66 8 16 -11 24
M. Vlasic 70 9 14 12 23
J. Braun 65 1 22 6 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Stalock 7 7 2 .905 2.55
A. Niemi 29 22 7 .914 2.62
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