The Sharks have tendered qualifying offers to several of their restricted free agents, the club announced on Monday.
Forwards Tommy Wingels and James Sheppard, along with defenseman Jason Demers, were the most notable players receiving offers. Prospects Taylor Doherty, Harri Sateri and Matt Tennyson were also qualified and remain Sharks property.
General manager Doug Wilson said over the weekend at the NHL Draft in Philadelphia that he has already started negotiations with Wingels, Sheppard and Demers. According to one NHL source, though, they are not at all close yet on a deal with Wingels.
Wingels, 26, had 16 goals and 22 assists for 38 points (all career-highs) in 77 games this season, and led the team with 218 hits. He added three assists in seven games in the first round of the playoffs against Los Angeles.
Demers, 26, had a strong bounce back season with five goals and 29 assists for 34 points, and essentially took Dan Boyle’s place on the top pair with Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Demers struggled in the playoffs, though, tallying just one assist with a -4 rating.
Sheppard, 26, was in and out of the lineup for most the season before finding a regular place as the third line center after the Olympic break. He didn’t do much as a winger, but showed some offensive flash as a center despite struggling in the faceoff circle. He had 20 points in 67 regular season games (4g, 16a), and was tied for second on the team with six playoff points (2g, 4a).
Doherty and Tennyson, both defensemen, have been mentioned numerous times by Wilson as part of the young group of players that will get a chance to crack the NHL roster next season. Tennyson, 24, has played in four career NHL games, but did not appear last season. Doherty, 23, has yet to make his NHL debut.
Sateri, who signed in Russia in the offseason, remains Sharks property. The 24-year-old was surpassed in AHL Worcester by goaltender Troy Grosenick.
The most notable player left unqualified and therefore is now an unrestricted free agent is defenseman Nick Petrecki, who was chosen in the first round (28th overall) in 2007, but never developed at the professional level. Petrecki played just one NHL game for the Sharks early in the shortened 2013 season, and was loaned from Worcester to Rochester this past March, ending his stint with the organization.
Also not qualified were Sena Acolatse, Adam Comrie, Brodie Reid, Sebastian Stalberg and Marek Viedensky. All are now free to sign elsewhere.