Sharks spotlight: Andrew Desjardins


Sharks spotlight: Andrew Desjardins

Editor's note: Over the next month, Sharks Insider Kevin Kurz and Postgame Live reporter Brodie Brazil will evaluate the 2011-12 performance of each player on the roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in numerical order.

Sharks spotlight -- the seriesSharks spotlight: Andrew DesjardinsAge: 25 CIn his first full season in the NHL, forward AndrewDesjardins had four goals and 13 assists for 17 points and 47 penalty minutesin 76 games. Named as the teams Rookie of the Year, Desjardins seventh on theteam in hits (93) and third in faceoff percentage (53.0 percent). He had onegoal and no assists in five playoff games.Kurz says: Desjardins was the surprise hero ofopening night, scoring twice in the 6-3 win over Phoenix. Although it took himuntil late March to double that total, Desjardins effectiveness shouldnt besolely judged on point production. The 25-year-old was among the teams mostpleasant surprises this season, and brought good energy to the teams fourthline on most nights.
Desjardins was a healthy scratch for a three-game stretch atthe beginning of March, but he took the benching like a professional and workedhard to get back into the lineup. When he was reinserted on March 8, he kepthis place for the remainder of the season and through the playoffs, scoring akey third period goal in the Sharks only postseason victory in Game 1 againstthe Blues.SLIDESHOW: Grading the Sharks
Brodie says: Desjardins started at center on the 4thline both in the very first and very last games of the season. In the time between, both his wingers changedmultiple times. But the point is he wasa mainstay, as a direct reward from the coaching staff, for his consistent,durable and responsible play.Evaluating Desjardins by point totals alone would not resultin a fair assessment of his contributions.The centerman was not expected to, or put in a position to light thelamp on a regular basis instead the goal was to frustrate opponents and wearthem down by sustaining offensive zone time and pressure. Evidence of that is a 4th lineplayer, who scored only 4 goals himself, and ended up as a 4 on the regularseason.2012-13 expectationsKurz says: Id expect Desjardins to keep his place in themiddle of the fourth line next season. Hes still a young and improving player,and could see an increased role next year. Desjardins was used on the penaltykill at times, and its possible the team will try and get him regularshorthanded shifts next season as the Sharks are expected to employ a much moreaggressive approach.
As far as points and goals go, Desjardins should be able toeclipse last seasons total if he remains healthy.RELATED: Andrew Desjardins stats splits game logs
Brodie says: Desjardins gives me the impression that hesalways watching, always learning. Greatquality for any young person in their career, let alone an athlete or a hockeyplayer. Its not to suggest that otheryoung Sharks teammates arent soaking things in just that Andrew regularlyappeared to be absorbing and observing in his first full season at the NHLlevel. This should suit him tremendouslyin the longer term of several years, and in the shorter term of nextseason.
One of two growth areas are most likely for Desjardins thisseason; he will either see more responsibilities in the sense of the team, orhe will become even more widely recognized with success in his currentrole. Either would be nice steps, andbetter than the alternative of some players who naturally hit rough patches inthe sophomore campaign. With that said: itwould be hard to see that coming for Andrew, a player who takes a lot of prideand attention to detail in his game.
Up next: Benn Ferriero

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks' Vlasic joins Canada for World Championships

Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic will compete in the upcoming IIHF World Championships for Team Canada, it was announced on Friday.

The tournament runs from May 5-21 in Paris, France and Cologne, Germany. 

Vlasic, 30, a native of Montreal, has played in the tournament twice before in 2009 and 2012. He also represented Canada in the 2014 Olympic Games, helping it to a gold medal, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which Canada also captured.

In 75 games with the Sharks this season, Vlasic posted 28 points (6g, 22a) and a +4 rating. He was second on the team in shorthanded time on ice (2:04 per game) and blocked shots (146).

A pending restricted free agent in 2018, Sharks general manager Doug Wilson called getting Vlasic signed to a long-term deal an offseason priority for the club. The two sides can begin negotiations on July 1.

“Vlasic [is] arguably one of the best defensemen in the league,” Wilson said. “[He] is still one of the most underrated players in the league in the outside world.”

The Sharks lost in the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs to Edmonton, although Vlasic and partner Justin Braun helped to keep Connor McDavid in check at even strength. The league's leading scorer had just one even strength point in the six-game series, an empty net goal with less than one second left in Game 6.

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

Boedker tops list of disappointing Sharks depth forwards

SAN JOSE – The Sharks didn’t make any blockbuster moves last summer, content to make another run in 2016-17 with largely the same group that came within two wins of capturing the Stanley Cup.

They still acquired a notable player, though, when Mikkel Boedker was signed on July 1 to add an element that the Sharks knew they needed more of moving forward – speed. Boedker was expected to make the team faster, after the Sharks were exposed for not having enough of that against Pittsburgh in the NHL’s final round, as well as play in a top six role. 

At the time, it was hailed as a slick, under-the-radar move that wasn’t going to change the dynamic of the club but could help push it over the top.

When Boedker was a healthy scratch in games three and four of the first round against Edmonton, the evidence became clear, though, that this was a decision that fell flat on its face. 

Frankly, Boedker – who is signed for three more years with a $4 million salary cap hit – brings back visions of Sharks bust Marty Havlat. You know the skill is there, but the desire to use it on a nightly basis while showing any semblance of a battle level is lacking. 

Should the Sharks give Boedker another chance next season, or should they do everything in their power to try and move him? That’s a question that will likely be debated in the front office over the next several weeks.

On get-away day on Monday, indications were that the Sharks were planning on sticking with the 27-year-old, who finished with 26 points in the regular season (10g, 16a) and added one goal and one assist in four games in the playoffs.

“He has the things we’re looking for: his career scoring average, his speed, [penalty killing] ability,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “Did he meet the expectations that he had for himself [or] that we had for him? No. Can we get that out of him? Pete [DeBoer] believes we can.”

DeBoer has known Boedker since he played for him in 2007-08 in Kitchener (OHL). Despite scratching him in the playoffs, DeBoer said he saw “huge improvement” in Boedker throughout the course of the season after the forward spent nearly all of his NHL career in Arizona.

“There was an adjustment. He’s played 6-7 years a certain way in the NHL,” DeBoer said. “We’ve asked him to play differently here, and there was an adjustment.”

Boedker still believes that he can be a fit in San Jose.

“I think it will be and it can be,” he said. “It’s learning period, but you’ve also got to look in the mirror yourself and see what you can change and what assets you need to bring. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m ready to do that.”

The list of Sharks depth forwads that had frustrating seasons hardly begins and ends with Boedker, though.

Veteran Joel Ward’s production dipped from 43 points last season to 29 in 2016-17, although that probably isn’t too surprising considering he’s 36. Tomas Hertl is proving to be a streaky player, too, although his season was interrupted by another a knee injury.

The bigger disappointment came from players like Chris Tierney and Joonas Donskoi, who both made big impressions in the 2016 playoffs but struggled to produce consistent offense this year. Both were mentioned by name by DeBoer on Monday.

There are some promising youngsters in the pipeline like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Marcus Sorensen, but it’s still too early to project any of them as can’t-miss scorers at the NHL level.

“I think we’ve got a large group of guys that I like, but need to step up,” DeBoer said. “Is Sorensen [like] Donskoi next year, where he takes a step back, or [does he take a] step forward? We’ve got a lot of guys that there’s a lot of potential there – Chris Tierney. 

“There’s a lot of those guys, but they need to have big summers and take a step, and show that they’re not just one season or one month players.”