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Sharks announce roster
Youngsters highlight the new look
10/11/21 - By Mike Lee
The Sharks 2021-22 Opening Night roster is set. San Jose named 13 forwards, 7 defensemen and two goaltenders to the official roster that excludes Evander Kane, who is listed as a "non-roster player, pending completion of the NHL's investigation." The biggest surprises included forwards Jonathan Dahlen, William Eklund and Jasper Weatherby, along with defeneman Santeri Hatakka.

Kane exclusion was no surprise as the NHL continues to try and get clarity on the latest accusations against the controversial forward. After entering into a nasty public divorce earlier this year, Kane's wife made statements suggesting that Kane bet on NHL games while playing.

Those accusations were dismissed by the league after an extensive investigation, but Kane was absent for all of training camp while the league investigates new accusations, reportedly associated with his use of a fraudulent COVID vaccination card. Kane hasn't even set foot in a Sharks facility while the team prepares for the upcoming season.

Kane's troubles have opened the door for at least one of the young forwards who will be dressing on Saturday as San Jose takes on the Winnipeg Jets at the SAP Center. Forward Jeffrey Viel also factored into the roster vacancies as he was placed on the injured reserve.

Of the four rookies that will make their debuts, Dahlen was an early lock to make the team. The son of former Sharks forward Ulf Dahlen has shown the best all around skills. Eklund, the Sharks 1st round draft selection in June, was the most pleasant surprise.

Ottawa gave up on him after taking him in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. He's spent parts of the last six seasons in Sweden, but played for the Barracuda in 2019. His father played in San Jose for parts of four seasons, including the Sharks first two playoff appearances in 1994 and 95.

Eklund has opened plenty of eyes with his offensive skills. If he can shore up some defensive shakiness, the young Swede could have a heck of a year. All of that will be predicated on how good or bad the Sharks are, but given the absence of a bona fide goal scoring threat, Eklund may just be what the Sharks need.

He's only 18 years old (he turns 19 on the October 12), so the Sharks will need to be patient with the mistakes that are sure to come. They may even need to teach him how to shave.

Hatakka will face the most scrutiny, playing on a backline that has been downright awful the past two seasons. The Sharks have excelled at giving up bad goals, so thrusting a young defender into that mess will be trying on his confidence.

The 20 year-old makes the jump from the Finnish Elite League. He was a 6th round draft pick of the Sharks in 2019.

Weatherby joins Dahlen as the senior statesmen of the rookie class, with both checking in at the ripe old age of 23. The centerman spent the last four years at the University of North Dakota, where he was allowed to grow up. The NHL is still a big jump from the college game, but his 6'4" frame will help him to make the jump to the pro game.

Don't expect Weatheby to be 50 goal scorer. He will play a role as he finds his way in the NHL.

Complete Roster:

Balcers, Rudolfs
Barabanov, Alexander
Bonino, Nick
Cogliano, Andrew
Couture, Logan
Dahlen, Jonathan
Eklund, William
Hertl, Tomas
Labanc, Kevin
Meier, Timo
Nieto, Matthew
Pederson, Lane
Weatherby, Jasper

Burns, Brent
Ferraro, Mario
Hatakka, Santeri
Karlsson, Erik
Middleton, Jake
Simek, Radim
Vlasic, Marc-Edouard

Hill, Adin
Reimer, James

Viel, Jeffrey


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