San Jose made a significant move to bolster its goaltending on Thursday, agreeing to a one-year deal with University of Wisconsin senior Joel Rumpel.
Rumpel, 24, is coming off a decorated career with the Badgers, in which he was named a Hobey Baker and Mike Richter Award finalist during the 2013-14 campaign.
Rumpel will report to AHL Worcester for the remainder of this season, and it’ll be interesting to see where he fits moving forward. As mentioned above, San Jose isn’t especially deep in goal and is facing an offseason in which veteran starter Antti Niemi could leave via free agency.
After Niemi, things get pretty slim. Backup Alex Stalock is locked in for one more year, but there are questions about his ability to carry a potential starter’s load. Former Union College standout Troy Grosenick is currently carrying the load at the American League level, along with undrafted free agent Aaron Dell.
In late February, we passed along a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in which he suggested the Sharks were looking for “a 25-year-old goalie who can play a few years for them.” It’s unclear if Rumpel can be that guy, but it sure looks like he’s got a good opportunity.
In another move today, the Sharks also signed Cornell defenseman Joakim Ryan to a two-year entry-level deal. Like Rumpel, Ryan will report to Worcester.