What Sharks' newcomers will contribute to start of 2019-20 NHL season


The San Jose Sharks' contingent of newcomers was whittled down from a large grouping to a select few over the last week of the preseason. And those players who got to continue fighting for a job in the final two games before the the 2019-20 opener have shown us what they can bring to the table.

Sure, it might be easy to dwell on what happened in the final tuneup game -- a forgettable but fight-filled 5-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights. But make no mistake, these are the players primed to fill in roles for San Jose as the season starts.

Here's what you need to know about the Sharks' arsenal of newcomers ahead of Wednesday's season-opener at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and what they can bring to the lineup at this start of the season.

Lean Bergmann

In a preseason where many of San Jose's prospects didn't stick out as being ready for the NHL, Bergmann made his presence known. At just 20 years old, the German winger has both the size and the speed to compete against more seasoned NHL forwards.

Bergmann -- who hasn't shied away from saying he's gotten into a scrap or two in his hockey career -- even ranked third on the team in Sunday evening's preseason finale with two hits against a tough Golden Knights lineup.

Look for Bergmann to be a player that helps fill out San Jose's bottom six. Even when he isn't getting on the scoreboard, Bergmann helps push back the opposition and creates room for his linemates. He's looked confident skating on San Jose's fourth line with Barclay Goodrow and Melker Karlsson, and brings an added boost of physicality.

Mario Ferraro

The 21-year-old defenseman was already one of the most talked-about rookies heading into training camp. He then went above and beyond to prove he was ready to play in the NHL. With Radim Simek not quite ready to return to game action, Ferraro has earned a spot filling in San Jose's blueline.

One trait that makes this rookie such a useful weapon in the Sharks' arsenal is that DeBoer isn't limited with who the energetic young defenseman plays with. Through the final two preseason games, Ferraro skated alongside Tim Heed and Dalton Prout, but also took a couple of shifts with Brent Burns.

If the team isn't playing well and coach Peter DeBoer decides to mix up his line combinations and defensive pairs, Ferraro can pencil into different roles. 

Jonny Brodzinski

While he has 54 NHL games on his resume, Brodzinski is new to the Sharks after spending the bulk of his career playing in the LA Kings organization. At 26 years old, the Minnesota native is older than his fellow newcomers. Nevertheless, he's demonstrated hustle throughout the preseason that can add another dimension to the Sharks' offense.

Brodzinski looks to be a player that will help fill out San Jose's bottom six, but could also be a forward DeBoer moves throughout the lineup if he decides to throw his combos in the blender. He was moved around a bit when things went south for the Sharks in their loss to Vegas on Sunday.

Danil Yurtaikin

The Russian forward is something of a sleeper coming out of this year's training camp. San Jose signed the speedy 22-year-old as a free agent back in April, and he's since opened eyes -- not to mention scoring the Sharks' lone goal in their preseason finale against the Golden Knights.

What Bergmann brings to the Sharks' offense in physicality, Yurtaikin brings in speed. He's an explosive skater who can add match up well against skill-heavy offenses. He'll more likely be a skater DeBoer takes in and out of the lineup depending on what roster the Sharks are facing.

Dylan Gambrell

He wasn't in the lineup for San Jose's preseason finale. But this is a player you'll be seeing more of.

While not a completely new face to Sharks' fans, Gambrell is getting his first season start at the NHL level. After a slow start to the preseason, the versatile forward got an offensive jolt in last Thursday's game against the Calgary Flames, notching two goals while on a line with Tomas Hertl and Evander Kane. 

DeBoer's big note for Gambrell following that Thursday night contest was that he wants to see more consistency from the Washington native. If Gambrell can successfully build on the strides he made in his last preseason appearance, we'll be seeing more of him as the regular season gets underway. 

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