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Kyle Wellwood: Wellwood's been an instrumental part of the San Jose third line, and has displayed remarkable chemistry alongside Torrey Mitchell and Joe Pavelski. His crafty puck handling ability and terrific hockey sense gives the Sharks a unique skill set amongst their bottom six forwards.
Kyle contributed immediately following his waiver wire voyage, but like many on this panel will need to answer the postseason question to quantify his value for San Jose. At just $650,000, Wellwood is a great value but not likely to continue playing at that price especially with his effectiveness late this season.
Scott Nichol: At a relatively affordable cap hit of just $760,000, Nichol does a lot of things very well for San Jose. He’s a scrappy player, good defensively, annoying in the corners and plays a big role on the penalty kill.
He’s consistently one of the best faceoff men in the NHL, a fact that buoyed the Sharks after losing Malhotra a year ago. Having said all that though, his injury and the added depth for the Sharks have diminished his role on the PK.
He’s also prone to taking the bad penalty and much of his play can be replaced by Ben Eager, who has the size that Nichol lacks to be effective up front.
Ben Eager: The results haven’t always been there for Eager, but how can you not love his game and what he brings to San Jose? He can contribute offensively but that’s not where his bread is buttered, where his speed and willingness to dish out big hits shine.
He’s simply a wrecking ball on ice but might need a little more restraint, as he’s taken a few bad penalties and hit his own teammates from time to time.
He’s a bigger faster version of Scott Nichol, and a nastier, meaner, and more effective version of Jamal Mayers. He’s a must for Doug Wilson to resign in order for San Jose to retain their depth, and at 965,000 is a big piece of the Sharks puzzle.
Jamal Mayers: He plays a role for the team on the penalty kill this year, but given the Sharks little else at any other time during the game. Mayers hasn’t quite been the gritty player Doug Wilson envisioned but he’s done a good job filling specific roles that the coaching staff asks of him
With the additional depth to this team however, Mayers is the odd man out despite his low $600,000 cap hit and may result in the team parting ways with him.
Benn Ferriero: He's playing well in Worcester, averaging nearly a point a game this season and has performed admirably in spot duty with the big club. He still projected as a top six forward based on his skill set but lacks the size to be an effective NHL forward on the Sharks fourth line.
The AHL is where he needs to stay until next season when an injury or trade makes a bottom six spot available, giving the youngster another chance to stick in the NHL.