Sharks Roster Features Eight Defensemen, Two Rookies After Final Camp Cuts

SAN JOSE -- The Sharks will carry 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders on their roster in Wednesday night's season opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

Three players were sent down to the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, the team announced in a statement Tuesday, cutting the roster to the 23-man limit.

As was expected when defensemen Tim Heed and Radim Simek weren't waived Monday, the Sharks will have eight defenders to start the season. Six players are locked in ahead of them, and each suited up in at least 60 NHL games last season.

Barring injury, Heed and Simek will not play much, but Sharks coach Peter DeBoer confirmed the team was concerned it would have lost one of them to waivers.

"I think it's a great luxury for us to have up here," DeBoer said. "It's not an easy situation for them, but I think when the dust settles, it's the right thing for us as an organization, and it's nice to have those guys. You can never have enough good, solid NHL defensemen."

Rookie center Rourke Chartier also was one of the 23, beating out Dylan Gambrell, another rookie center. Gambrell, as well as winger Lukas Radil and goaltender Antoine Bibeau, will start the season with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda after being sent down Tuesday.

Chartier scored five points in five preseason games, tied for third on the team. On Tuesday, the rookie was one of four players who skated on the Sharks' fourth line, and DeBoer said he hadn't yet decided whether Chartier will draw into his first NHL game Wednesday.

Along with forward Barclay Goodrow, Chartier took some face-offs as practice wrapped. Both are options at the fourth-line center position, and Goodrow can play the wing as well.

DeBoer compared Chartier's training camp to Goodrow's last year.

"I know none of us were really talking about [him] coming into the camp," DeBoer said. "He made a statement, and separated himself from other guys, and you should reward that. That's how it should work."

Chartier, fellow rookie center Antti Suomela and two-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson are the new names on the Sharks' roster. Every other player suited up with the team last season, including a now clean-shaven Joe Thornton. On Wednesday, Thornton will play his first game in nearly nine months after he tore his right ACL and MCL in January.

The Sharks' full roster and Tuesday line combinations are as follows.

Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Tomas Hertl -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc
Evander Kane -- Antti Suomela -- Joonas Donskoi
Marcus Sorensen -- Barclay Goodrow/Rourke Chartier -- Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson
Joakim Ryan -- Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun
Radim Simek -- Tim Heed

Martin Jones
Aaron Dell

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