Sharks to give ‘hard, committed’ Karlsson his NHL debut tonight


One of this summer’s under-the-radar stories was NHL teams raiding the cupboard of Skelleftea, the back-to-back Swedish Hockey League champion.

San Jose was one of those raiding teams and, on Tuesday night, it’ll unveil its find when forward Melker Karlsson makes his NHL debut against Edmonton.

“Melker is a hard, committed player. We’re still finding out a lot about him,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said, per CSN Bay Area. “He’s not going to score a whole bunch of goals, but he’ll play on the inside. He’ll keep his nose over the puck.”

Karlsson, 24, was in training camp with San Jose and appeared in two preseason games, going scoreless with six PIM. Previously, he’d earned a reputation as a hard-working and hard-nosed contributor for Skelleftea, one that could provide some offense (66 points in 216 games) when called upon.

It’ll be interesting to see how his game translates to the NHL after scoring four goals and eight points in 20 games with AHL Worcester.

One of Karlsson’s ex-Skelleftea teammates from last season, Joakim Lindstrom, is having a solid year in St. Louis with three goals and six points through 23 games. Another former teammate, defenseman Johan Alm, was in training camp with the Predators and is now a regular contributor with their farm team in AHL Milwaukee.

As for Karlsson, he’ll play on a line with Barclay Goodrow and James Sheppard tonight and could be in line for some decent minutes, given fellow Sharks forwards Tyler Kennedy and Matt Nieto are unavailable.

McLellan is excited about seeing what Karlsson can do.

“He’ll give you everything he has,” the head coach explained. “Character and commitment are two of the words we use when we talk about him.”

Update: Couture manages to play for Sharks

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Update: Apparently it was a false alarm, as Logan Couture managed to play against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.


The 25-year-old didn’t skate this morning and looks to be a game-time decision, as’s Kevin Kurz reports.

“He showed up, wasn’t feeling real good,” Head coach Todd McLellan said. “We’ll see how he is at game time. He’s questionable.”

In grand opaque hockey update tradition, “wasn’t feeling good” could mean anything from an injury to an illness.

It would be a shame if Couture is indeed dealing with a setback, as it seemed like he was getting his game together lately. Couture scored three points in the last four games after suffering through a five-game pointless slump.

Mike Brown may draw back into the lineup in Couture’s absence. Kurz points out that Tyler Kennedy was also placed on IR today.

Here are what San Jose’s lines looked like this morning with Brown in and Couture out, according to the Mercury News:


That’s a thinner group of offensive forwards, but maybe they’ll band together with pickings being a little slimmer?

Quick Hits: Heatley, Franson among notable IR placements


PHT already made note of some significant (and smaller) IR moves on Tuesday, but in a quest to graciously save you some clicks, here’s a collection of some of the other injured reserve placements of note. Some could be a pretty big deal, too.

(Note: this is a good spot to mention other IR assignments in the comments section if there are any important omissions.)

(Note: Rotoworld’s a helpful resource for injury updates small and large. If you ever need a quick look at league-wide injuries, this page is a great resource.)

Sharks could have two rookies on the third line


A San Jose team that got significant contributions from a couple of rookies (Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto) in 2013-14 is poised to have a few more newbies in the lineup to start this season.

From CSN Bay Area:

Nothing has been made official, but looks more and more likely that San Jose will ice a third line of rookies Chris Tierney and Barclay Goodrow, along with Tommy Wingels when the season gets underway on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

General manager Doug Wilson said numerous times in the offseason that his team will get younger. If Tierney, 20, and Goodrow, 21, make the roster, along with 19-year-old defenseman Mirco Mueller’s spot now assured, that will be enough to prove Wilson wasn’t kidding.

Injuries to Raffi Torres, James Sheppard and Tyler Kennedy have opened the door for Tierney and Goodrow, both of whom are waiver exempt and can be sent to AHL Worcester at any time.

Injuries ‘the reality’ for Sharks, says GM Doug Wilson


Despite a number of key injuries, the San Jose Sharks have managed to keep in the hunt for the Pacific Division.

With the National Hockey League on its Olympic break, the Sharks currently sit second in the division, seven points back of the Anaheim Ducks with a game in hand and the stretch drive about to begin.

Along the way, the Sharks have seen two key members of their scoring attack fall to injury – Logan Couture (a hand injury) and Tomas Hertl (a knee injury suffered on a Dustin Brown major penalty for kneeing). And there have been plenty of others, too. That includes those in the supporting class, like Tyler Kennedy and Raffi Torres, who has yet to play a game this season due a torn ACL that required surgery in September.

Yet the Sharks have managed to rise above three other teams in the division and keep the Ducks in their sights. That has left the team’s general manager Doug Wilson quick to compliment his players and coaching staff.

“To me, the players and coaches have done an excellent job in this type of season and schedule, to get through some of the challenges that we faced,” Wilson told the San Jose Mercury News.

“It’s not excuse making. It’s kind of the reality.”