It’s obviously difficult for most players to make the jump from junior hockey straight into the NHL. But if such a player exists in the Sharks organization this year, perhaps it’s Rudolfs Balcers. Balcers, the Sharks’ fifth round draft pick in 2015, showed Saturday that he could be a player to watch once the team’s main training camp gets underway next week. Balcers, who signed an entry-level contract two months ago, had three goals and an assist for the Sharks in their 7-4 win over the Colorado Avalanche in the first game of the four-team Prospect Showcase at Solar4America Ice. On a line with center Alexander True and right winger Filip Sandberg, Balcers, 20, showed a deft touch around the Avalanche net but also some awareness in his own zone. “I don’t think he’s a guy that going to put you on the edge of your seat like a (Nikolay) Goldobin,” said Barracuda coach Roy Sommer, who is coaching the Sharks prospects in this event, of Balcers. “But he seems to knows where the puck is, and he’s around the puck.” Ideally, it would seem, Balcers would get at least full season in the AHL with the Barracuda before he’s asked to fill a role for the Sharks. But there are jobs to be won at camp, particularly on the wing where other young players like Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow are among the hopefuls vying to stick around.
Is this winger a darkhorse to crack the Sharks’ roster out of training camp?
San Jose Mercury News | Sep 10