WorSharks Half-Season Report Card

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, January 17, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


With the AHL season just past the halfway mark it’s time to take a look at the players on the Worcester Sharks roster and give them a grade on how well they’ve done against the expectations that have been set for them and how well they’ve done compared to the other players on the roster. When looking at the grades remember that a “C” is average, meaning the player has done what was expected of them or that their play based on the other players on the roster has been average in nature.

FORWARDS
#14 Jonathan Cheechoo LW
38 games; 14g, 23a, 37pts; (-5); 8PIM
Whether or not Cheechoo has NHL level talent is still in question, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the best players in the AHL. Averaging about a point per game all season, Cheechoo makes every player he’s lined up with better. He’s a threat to score every time he has the puck, and while he may have lost a half-step he still has the ability to make defenders trying to stop him look like fools. It’s hard to imagine how bad the WorSharks would be without him on the team.
Season highlight: goal, 2 assists at Connecticut on 10/10
Grade: A

#23 Dan DaSilva RW
42 games; 8g, 10a, 18pts; +13; 48PIM
An original member of the “Crazed Rats” line, DaSilva started the season off slowly and still hasn’t rediscovered the scoring touch he had last season. He has shown streaks of effectiveness on offense, but more is expected and needed from him if the WorSharks are going to make any sort of playoff run. DaSilva’s defensive play is still good, and he leads the team in plus/minus, which saves his grade a little.
Season highlight: goal, assist, +3 vs Norfolk on 11/14
Grade: C

#22 Andrew Desjardins C
38 games; 5g, 12a, 17pts; +12; 46PIM
Another original member of the “Crazed Rats” line, Desjardins also started the season off slowly in scoring goals. Despite the scoring slump his high energy and tenacious play has continued to make him one of the hardest players in the AHL to play against, and it’s that hard work that resulted in a recall to San Jose and playing in his first NHL game on Jan. 3 against Vancouver. Desjardins is another on the long list of players that needs to pick up the scoring for the WorSharks.
Season highlight: goal, 2 assists, +4 vs Springfield on 11/21
Grade: C

#21 Benn Ferriero C
16 games; 10g, 6a, 16pts; (-3); 8PIM
Ferriero was a point per game player this season while he was here in Worcester, and after his second recall to San Jose on 11/26 it looks like he’s going to be there for a long while. The WorSharks most certainly miss his goal scoring and play making abilities, and one can only dream about what this season would have been like had he been in the AHL.
Season highlight: two goals, assist at Connecticut on 10/10
Grade: A

#47 Kevin Henderson LW
40 games; 4g, 6a, 10pts; +9; 37PIM
Henderson has been a great addition to the Crazed Rats line, and he has already doubled his goal output from last season. One of the handful of WorSharks on the plus side of the ledger, his high energy play is his greatest asset. Henderson doesn’t have NHL talent, but he is a decent AHL player and he’s good at his role.
Season highlight: 3 assists, +3 vs Norfolk on 11/14
Grade: C

#19 James Marcou RW
41 games; 4g, 15a, 19pts; (-12); 18PIM
Marcou’s small size is a real hindrance in the AHL. While he excelled in college at UMass on their Olympic width rink the smaller ice surface of North American pro hockey has caused issues for himĀ  because he is unable to create space for himself against opponents that are much larger than he is. Marcou is more effective on the power play where a majority of his points come from, but lately he has been unable to generate any offense even with the extra space created with a man advantage. He currently has the worst plus/minus on the team.
Season highlight: goal, assist at Connecticut on 12/4
Grade: D

#53 Brandon Mashinter LW
31 games; 7g, 8a, 15pts; (-4); 64PIM
Hopes were high that this would be Mashinter’s breakout season, but so far that hasn’t happened. Another of the many WorSharks that are having issues putting the puck in the net, Mashinter has seen his talent as a power forward plateau. His recent recall to San Jose may rekindle his development, but he still has a long way to go to be considered an every day NHL player.
Season highlight: goal, 3 assists, +3 at Providence on 10/31
Grade: C

#11 Cory Quirk C
42 games; 2g, 3a, 5pts; (-11); 18PIM
Another player slight in stature, Quirk was a decent depth AHL player last season. This season he’s having the same issues as the rest of the team scoring goals despite playing many games on the top two lines for Worcester. In spite of his small size he’s a player that isn’t afraid to play against the boards or in front of the net, but unless he’s paired with a player with some play making skills his offensive upside is limited. The best thing going for Quirk right now is he’s a good penalty killer, which saves him from a failing grade.
Season highlight: goal, +2 at Bridgeport on 10/9
Grade: D

#24 T.J. Trevelyan LW
41 games; 8g, 12a, 20pts; (-8); 23PIM
A goal scorer that doesn’t score goals is just another guy wearing your team’s jersey, and that’s what Trevelyan has been so far this season. With no game winning goals and a negative plus/minus there has been virtually nothing positive happening when he is on the ice. If Trevelyan were to double his goal output from the first half of the season it would still result in a career low. All one needs to know about Trevelyan this season can be learned by looking at San Jose’s recall list; his name is nowhere to be found.
Season highlight: goal, 2 assists at Connecticut on 12/4
Grade: D

#17 Tommy Wingels RW
35 games; 6g, 6a, 12pts; (-2); 35PIM
While still learning the pro game Wingels is one of the few Worcester forwards to play while both shorthanded and on the power play. Wingels makes smart plays both with and without the puck, a rarity in rookies. He still need to work on his skating, but so far it looks like San Jose has a very good prospect in Wingels.
Season highlight: gwg, assist at Albany on 12/11
Grade: B

#15 Steven Zalewski C
42 games; 3g, 14a, 17pts; (-6); 14PIM
The vast majority of the time Zalewski has looked totally lost out there this season. He can’t win face-offs, he can’t score goals, and he doesn’t play defense. Zalewski was one of the players that was counted upon heavily to help carry the offensive load this season, and it appears that’s something else he can’t do.
Season highlight: goal, 2 assists vs Portland on 12/5
Grade: F

DEFENSEMEN
#27 Justin Braun
23 games; 1g, 11a, 12pts; +1; 8PIM
Braun is a great mix of offense and defense and possesses a poise not normally seen in rookie defenseman. He doesn’t make the flashy play on either end of the ice, but he doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes either. Not blessed with great speed Braun makes up for that shortcoming with great puck anticipation and good fundamentals. He has played well in two recalls to San Jose and it looks like Braun will turn into another great late round pick for San Jose.
Season highlight: goal, 2 assists vs Portland on 10/23
Grade: B

#20 Matt Irwin
36 games; 7g, 11a, 18pts; E; 12PIM
Irwin is an offensive defenseman that has more than enough defensive skills to not be a liability on the ice. Like most offense first defenders Irwin doesn’t play a very physical game, relying more on a positional game to stop scoring opportunities. He will need to work on his defensive skills to make it to the next level, but he’s already a serviceable AHL defenseman in just half a pro season.
Season highlight: gwg vs Portland on 1/2
Grade: C

#28 Jay Leach
42 games; 0g, 3a, 3pts; (-6); 36PIM
If Leach had been signed to be a traffic cop San Jose made a great signing. Since he was signed to be a defenseman they aren’t getting their monies worth. Leach is having a hard time keeping up with AHL forwards, and does a lot of directing other players in who to cover while leaving his man wide open. Word is he’s great in the locker room, and that’s good because he’s pretty bad on the ice.
Season highlight: assist, +1 vs Charlotte on 11/27
Grade: F

#3 Joe Loprieno
27 games; 1g, 0a, 1pt; (-6); 36PIM
Loprieno has spent a few games up at forward due to injuries and recalls, and he didn’t look that bad up there. Defensively Loprieno still has a lot to work on, and like last season he could use some seasoning in the ECHL as opposed to getting third pairing minutes and virtually no special teams play here in Worcester. He also needs to learn when to pick his spots as he has committed several bad penalties that have luckily so far not hurt his team.
Season highlight: goal vs Charlotte on 11/27
Grade: C

#8 Mike Moore
20 games; 2g, 3a, 5pts; +1; 16PIM
Moore is on the brink of being an everyday third pairing NHL defenseman. He used to be a one trick pony of just blasting his opponents off the puck, but now Moore is a more well rounded defenseman and plays a lot smarter and pucks his spots well. He still needs to work a bit on his skating, but in general he’s probably reached his maximum potential.
Season highlights: 2 goals, +3 vs Norfolk on 11/14
Grade: C

#29 Nick Petrecki
36 games; 3g, 4a, 7pts; (-6); 80PIM
No player has improved as much as Petrecki has since the end of last season. He went from being totally lost on the ice to being one of Worcester’s top defenseman. His skating still needs a lot of work, but now that he’s figured out what he’s supposed to be doing out there and how to go about it there’s no reason to think he can’t improve his skating too. Petrecki may also wish to work on his fighting because some of his bouts have been nothing short of ugly.
Season highlight: gwg vs Providence on 10/30
Grade: B

#6 Nick Schaus
40 games; 1g, 7a, 8pts; (-1); 24PIM
After a slow start Schaus has finally gotten things going in the right direction. His improvement seemed to coincide with the return of Mike Moore, which makes sense as their skill sets complement each other fairly well. Schaus plays better when paired with a “stay at home” partner, and unless Worcester wants to pair two rookies that pretty much leaves Moore as Schaus’ partner. He has a long way to go to be an NHL defenseman, but for now he’s certainly good enough for the AHL.
Season highlight: gwg, +2 vs Portland on 12/5
Grade: C

#37 Sean Sullivan
30 games; 10g, 11a, 21pts; (-3); 18PIM
Sullivan is essentially a forward disguised as a defenseman. He is the WorSharks second leading scorer and is just shy of setting his career high for goals in a season. He was signed to replace Danny Groulx and has done just that. Sullivan probably isn’t the guy you want protecting a one goal lead, but he’s surely the guy you want out there if you need a goal.
Season highlight: gwg, assist vs Manchester on 11/6
Grade: B

GOALTENDERS
#30 Carter Hutton
9 games; 3-2-2; 3.25; .888
Hutton is a serviceable backup to Stalock, and that’s really all he needs to be. Hutton has played fairly well for Worcester but has had a few games where the team was basically invisible in front of him that have done a number on his stats. Should Stalock be unavailable for any length of time Worcester will be in decent shape for a short while, but a more permanent replacement might be needed.
Season highlight: 37 save win at Providence on 10-31
Grade: C

#32 Alex Stalock
35 games; 16-15-3; 2.53; .911
Don’t be fooled by his numbers, Stalock is having a great season. There have been far too many times where Stalock was the only reason Worcester is still in the game, and through just half the season he’s already made a career’s worth of highlight reel saves. It’s a pretty safe bet Stalock will find himself in the NHL next season.
Season highlight: 41 save win at Hershey on 11/24
Grade: A

HOCKEY OPERATIONS
The absence of true front line talent and the total lack of players in the ECHL for Worcester to call upon has not only hurt Worcester, but due to injuries on the NHL roster San Jose is now feeling the impact of the Sharks hockey operations gross mismanagement of their minor league franchise. An AHL team is not just for developing prospects, it’s also for borderline NHL talent to be used as spares for injuries on the NHL roster. Because San Jose didn’t do that they’re trying to fill the roster slots vacated by injuries with players that aren’t close to being NHL talent. Hopefully they have learned from this, although if the past is any indication the odds are against it.
Grade: F

OVERALL GRADE
The Worcester Sharks are 7th in the AHL in shots at 32.29 per game, but are just 26th in goals per game at 2.52. Had the WorSharks scored a minimum of three goals every game they’d have 19 more points in the standings. When you figure the points that division rivals would have lost with Worcester scoring those three goals per game the WorSharks would be running away with the division. Defensively this team is pretty average, and statistically that shows with the team being in the middle of the pack in both goals against per game and shots allowed. But that average defense will be good enough if Worcester can put the puck in the net a little more often. If they can’t it will be a very short season for the WorSharks.
Grade: D

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