The San Jose Sharks have placed forward Bracken Kearns on waivers, according to RDS’ Renaud Lavoie. The move is likely related to the pending activations of injured forwards Logan Couture and Raffi Torres, both of whom are expected back in the San Jose lineup soon.
Kearns, 32, is the son of former NHL d-man Dennis Kearns and has a pretty curious story regarding his path to the NHL. He was never drafted; in fact, he never even played junior hockey.
Kearns wound up walking onto the hockey team at the University of Calgary, where he scored 83 points in four seasons while earning his degree in economics. After that, he earned a job with Toledo of the ECHL. Minor-league stops followed in Cleveland, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Reading, Rockford, San Antonio and Worcester. Kearns played five games for the Florida Panthers in 2011-12 before the one this season for the Sharks.
What’s kept him going?
“I feel like I’ve gotten better every year,” Kearns said. “That was the big thing. And I’ve been given new opportunities. New teams have taken chances on me. July 1 rolls around and you’re never sure if you’re going to be able to stay and play. I’ve been pretty lucky around that time. I’ve gotten calls from teams, and they’re pretty easy decisions. Europe’s not really an option for me. It doesn’t really appeal to me right now.
“My dream is to play in the NHL, and that’s where I’d like to be.”
Kearns finally made his NHL debut, for Florida, on Oct. 20, 2011. In 2013, he played one regular-season game for the Sharks and made seven playoff appearances — earning him a one-year, $550,000 extension.
He’s played in 22 games this year, scoring three goals, and played a season-high 17:15 in a win over Winnipeg in late January.