SAN JOSE – The Sharks haven’t released an end-of-season injury report, but one player in particular was playing through pain near the end.
According to a Sharks source, Matt Nieto suffered a fractured foot at some point in the final few weeks, despite not missing any games. The injury forced him to turn down an invite to join Team USA at the IIHF World Championships, though, which begin on May 1.
In his second NHL season with the Sharks, the 22-year-old left wing had 10 goals and 27 points in 72 games.
Another injured player that won't be able to compete in the World Championships is defenseman Mirco Mueller, who is still recovering from a broken thumb suffered on March 26 when he blocked a shot in Detroit. Mueller would have joined the Swiss team had be been healthy.
The 19-year-old rookie missed the final eight games of the Sharks season with the injury.
The Sharks have three players competing in the Worlds; Ben Smith for Team USA, Tomas Hertl for the Czech Republic, and Brent Burns for Team Canada. The Canadians are coached by former Sharks head coach Todd McLellan.