WorSharks final 2014-15 report card

Reposted in its entirety from my post on Sharkspage.com.

Up next is the WorSharks 2014-15 report card. Most seasons there’s an in depth description, for this one there’s just a quick note about the player to go along with his grade. If you’re a reader of Sharkspage and a follower of mine on Twitter you’ve seen enough of my comments to know what the deal is with each player anyway. Forwards come first, then defenders and goaltenders, each listed by jersey numbers mostly because that’s how they’re listed on my spreadsheet.

After each player’s name is their stats, ending with their contract status for the 2015-16 season. After the blurb is the grade I feel they deserve. Grades are based on what was expected of them, how they performed to those expectations, and then against how others on the team performed.

7 Eriah Hayes RW (59 games; 8-17-25; +4; 40PIM; RFA)
Statistically Hayes had pretty much the same season as his rookie campaign last year, but he looked like a different player this time around as he showed significantly more poise and confidence on the ice. If San Jose truly is moving toward using younger players pencil Hayes into the Sharks 4th line for next season. Grade: B

11 Bryan Lerg LW (68 games; 13-28-41; +3; 10PIM; UFA)
Lerg started off 2014-15 slowly but once he got it going he was an offensive force for the WorSharks. After surgeries to both knees over the last two seasons there was some question as to if Lerg would be able to make an impact in Worcester. He answered those questions. Grade: A

13 Evan Trupp C (72 games; 16-24-40; +6; 26PIM; AHL/UFA)
Worcester fans have no idea why WorSharks Gm Joe Will decided to sign Evan Trupp, who had a nice 2013-14 in the ECHL but not exactly overwhelming stats. but they’re happy Will did as Trupp was an incredible pick-up that played extremely well with linemate Lerg. Trupp played a huge role in the success of Worcester this season. Grade: B

15 Melker Karlsson C (20 games; 5-5-10; -2; 6PIM; RFA)
It took a short while for Karlsson to get used to the North American game, but once he did his talent began to show though and soon after he was recalled to San Jose where he spent the rest of the season. It would have been nice to have his solid play in Worcester the whole year. Grade: B

17 John McCarthy LW (35 games; 9-9-18; +4; 8PIM; UFA[St Louis Blues property])
Rarely is an AHL “trade” so one-sided as the trade that brought McCarthy back to the WorSharks, and no matter what Adam Burish did in Chicago would tip the scales in favor of the Wolves. McCarthy quickly became the heart and soul of the team and was a key element to its success. His shoulder injury likely resulted in Worcester’s playoff run ending so soon. Grade: A

18 Micheal Haley LW (68 games; 18-13-31; -13; 106PIM; UFA)
Haley came to Worcester as one of its most hated opponents but his quick start endeared him to fans very early on. Unfortunately Haley’s hot start turned into an ice cold slump, but his toughness kept him in the lineup and he ended his WorSharks stint as one of Worcester’s better playoff performers this season. Grade: C

19 Daniil Tarasov RW (54 games; 16-17-33; -4; 27PIM; RFA)
If Tarasov ever finds a way to play more consistently he will eventually find himself in the NHL line-up full time, but right now his game play is so wildly inconsistent you don’t know what you’re going to get from shift to shift. You can see the talent in Tarasov, but unless someone can find a way to fully harness it he might end up being just a good AHL player. Grade: C

21 Travis Oleksuk C (69 games; 10-17-27; -8; 18PIM; Group VI UFA)
Oleksuk ended the 2013-14 season on fire, but none of that hot streak carried forward to the 14-15 campaign. Oleksuk is a nice complementary player in the AHL, but he’s never taken the next step that’s always been expected of him. He’ll get a shot somewhere next season because he’s still not considered an AHL veteran, but it will likely be his last chance. Grade: C

22 Ryan Carpenter RW (74 games, 12-22-34; +10; 40PIM; RFA)
San Jose may have found themselves a diamond in the rough with Carpenter, who isn’t a flashy player but is instead a player that just gets the job done night in and night out. He’s never going to turn into a top nine NHL type player, but he absolutely would be a great addition to any organization’s fourth line. It’s where he should end up if the Sharks are truly moving toward playing the youth next season. Grade: B

26 Willie Coetzee RW (46 games; 10-17-27; +0; 22PIM; AHL UFA)
The right guy at the right time, Coetzee joined the WorSharks at mid-season and really lit a fire under the offense. His style fit perfectly with the new, faster Worcester roster and even when his stats tailed off toward the end of the season his play was still good enough for his line to make a difference in games. A knee injury cut his season short, and word is he may not be ready to start the next season when it opens in October. Grade: B

27 Rylan Schwartz C (43 games; 5-10-15; +7; 11PIM; RFA)
It was a tale of two different season for Schwartz: before being sent to the ECHL he was basically invisible on the ice, and after his recall he was a truly serviceable third/fourth line player that made lots of great plays where all of his point total took place. I can see San Jose giving him another shot next season, but odds are it’s the last one he’ll get. Grade: C

28 Jeremy Langlois RW (42 games; 16-10-26; +4; 8PIM; 1 year ELC signed in April)
Were it not for a broken foot that limited him to half a season Langlois might have run away with the point total lead for the WorSharks. He was among the league leaders when he went down and his not being in the game was felt immediately by the Worcester line-up. He was so good in the first half that San Jose signed him to an entry level contract for next season. He will unfortunately be remembered in these parts for an ill-timed major penalty in the playoffs that may have cost Worcester a game. Grade: B

39 Trevor Parkes RW (20 games; 3-6-9; +8; 14PIM; AHL UFA)
A decent AHL depth player Parkes found his niche in Worcester as an energy-type player that unfortunately was used incorrectly by head coach Roy Sommer. Parkes is the kind of bottom six player most AHL teams look for, so he shouldn’t have a hard time finding a spot somewhere next season. Grade: C

43 Jimmy Bonneau LW (30 games; 0-3-3; -6; 80PIM; AHL UFA)
The only things Bonneau didn’t do for the WorSharks this season is drive the Zamboni and score a goal. He did pretty much everything else, from back-up goaltender to assistant coach to play-by-play man. No one will every confuse Bonneau with Wayne Gretzky, but as I’ve said many times before once Bonneau hangs them up for good he’s going to make a terrific coach somewhere. Maybe someday that will be behind the bench here in Worcester. Grade: B

50 Chris Tierney C (29 games; 8-21-29; +8; 10PIM; year 2 of 3 year ELC)
Tierney was the absolute best forward for the WorSharks every time he stepped on the ice. One can only imagine the numbers he would have put up in a full 76 game AHL schedule. He certainly would have set rookie records and he may have made a run at many WorSharks franchise season marks. He’s one of those guys we’ll be saying “I got to see him play live” for years to come. Grade: A

2 Dylan DeMelo (65 games; 5-17-22; -7; 32PIM; year 3 of 3 year ELC)
DeMelo saw a big improvement over last season by cutting down on the number of turnovers he committed, and that in turn helped improved other areas of his game. He still has a long way to go to become an everyday NHL player, but he did makes steps in that direction this season. Grade: C

3 Gus Young (65 games; 5-10-15; +14; 37PIM; AHL UFA)
For my money Young was the best all-around defenseman the WorSharks had this season. His solid play forced head coach Roy Sommer to keep him in the line-up, many times playing instead of others on NHL contracts. It would be a huge mistake if San Jose didn’t lock him up with an NHL deal in the offseason. Grade: A

4 Taylor Doherty (59 games; 2-5-7; -3; 93PIM; RFA)
I had originally written a joke for this one (What do Worcester and Taylor Doherty have in common? They’ll both never see the AHL again and are looking for an ECHL team.), but with Hershey and Hartford playing two playoff games here that joke is no longer true. Although the part of Doherty never seeing the AHL again and needing an ECHL job still probably is. He does nothing well and had fans wishing Nick Petrecki was still here. That says it all. Grade: F

5 Matt Tennyson (43 games; 4-11-15; +7; 30PIM; one-way NHL deal)
It’s a rarity that a player is significantly better in the NHL than in the AHL, but Tennyson absolutely is. He’s a decent defenseman here but it’s almost like the game is too slow for him. He reacts so quickly sometimes that he looks foolish out there when the slower, less talented players do the “wrong thing” and get past him. He should be full time in the NHL next season, and he should be fine up there. Grade: C

10 Konrad Abeltshauser (50 games; 3-16-19; +2; 19PIM; year 3 of 3 year ELC)
Abeltshauser’s biggest issue is confidence. He gets down on himself far too quickly when he makes a mistake, and that in turn leads to other mistakes. When he playing well he’s as solid a defenseman as you’d expect, but one slip-up and he looks like an overmatched rookie. As I type this he’s lighting up the ECHL, so hopefully that will get him on the right track for next season. His upside it way too high for anyone to give up on him just yet. Grade: C

14 Taylor Fedun (65 games; 6-28-34; +12; 37PIM; UFA)
San Jose dipped their toe in the water by signing Fedun and they have to like what they saw. He was much more solid defensively than was expected, and that complimented his offensive skills quite nicely. Fedun likely is NHL bound next season, the only question is will it be with the Sharks or not. Grade: A

20 Matt Taormina (76 games; 11-27-38; -7; 24PIM; AHL UFA)
Taormina is a solid, puck moving AHL defenseman. He was a last minute signing by the WorSharks but played like a top round draft pick. No one will mistake Taormina for a defensive specialist, but his play in his own end is passible enough when you consider how good he is as a puck mover and offensive threat. You can’t win with an entire defensive corps like Taormina on the roster, but you also can’t win without at least one. Grade: B

37 Karl Stollery (14 games; 2-4-6; +2; 8PIM; UFA)
A mid-season acquisition when traded for Freddie Hamilton at the NHL trade deadline, despite just playing 14 games for Worcester he completely changed the back end of Worcester defense with his physical play. Suddenly forwards had to watch out for a WorSharks defenseman that had the ability to drive them into the second row. Stollery was also decent in the offensive end, and his play may have earned him a contract for next season. Grade: B

1 Troy Grosenick (36 games; 20-13-3; 2.63; 9.06; RFA)
Grosenick started the season on fire but after his NHL debut he never found his stride again with the WorSharks. It wasn’t like he was playing badly, he just wasn’t playing as well as everyone thought he should. You can see the talent in Grosenick, but unless someone can find a way to make it come out with consistency San Jose may have to look in another direction in the near future. Grade: C

29 Aaron Dell (26 games; 15-8-2; 2.06; .927; RFA)
Dell started the season third on the depth chart and on an AHL contract and ended it as the number one goalie for the WorSharks and an NHL contract in his pocket. No player can dream of a better scenario. His 2.06 GAA set the Worcester city record for season and career in that stat, and his .927 save percentage set season and career franchise marks for the WorSharks. Simply put; Dell is the reason Worcester made it to the playoffs. Grade: A

34 J.P. Anderson (16 games; 6-8-1; 2.71; .900; RFA)
All Anderson had to do to stay in the AHL was not be terrible, but unfortunately for him he was unable to be consistent enough while Grosenick was in the NHL and he was outplayed by Dell. Then in the ECHL Anderson got outplayed again by other goaltenders and wasn’t placed on the Allen Americans playoff roster. Anderson likely won’t be qualified, and without a huge season next year in the ECHL (if he can even land a job) he’s likely on the long list of promising goalies that didn’t make the cut. Grade: D

Hockey Ops
GM Joe Will
All in all, Will did a decent job of putting together a team and then not being afraid to go out and grab the pieces needed to make the WorSharks a playoff contender. Can’t ask for more I guess. Grade: B

Head coach Roy Sommer
Dead horse beating time. There’s a reason why he’s the losingest head coach in professional hockey. He’d maybe make a good developmental coach like the Sharks have in Bryan Marchment, Mike Ricci, and Corey Schwab, but Roy’s time as head coach needs to be over if the organization has any hipes in winning in the future. Grade: F

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