Editor's note: This article is part of an ongoing series in which Kevin Kurz will highlight a different Sharks player every day leading up to the start of training camp.
Name/Position: Matt Tennyson, D
2015-16 cap hit/contract: $625,000, pending RFA
2014-15 year in review: Matt Tennyson made Sharks history on Dec. 18, 2014, when he became the first Jr. Sharks player to score a goal for the San Jose Sharks. It was a nice moment for the franchise, as original owner George Gund – who passed away in 2013 – had dreamt about that moment, according to former coach Todd McLellan.
Still, Tennyson had a difficult time staying in the lineup for the Sharks, spending most of his season with Worcester. In 27 games, he posted two goals and six assists for eight points and 16 penalty minutes. In the AHL, Tennyson had 15 points (4g, 11a) in 43 games.
2015-16 outlook: Tennyson never seemed to be a McLellan-type player, having difficultly with some of the intricacies of the former coach’s system, so perhaps a change behind the bench will give the 25-year-old Minnesota native a fresh start in the organization.
While Tennyson has shown some offensive ability and would play well in stretches, he was just too inconsistent to stay in the lineup on a nightly basis. Checking the advanced stats, Tennyson’s shot attempt numbers were ahead of only Scott Hannan among Sharks defensemen that played at least 25 games, and Hannan’s NHL days are probably now over.
It’s an important year for Tennyson, as he is only signed through this season and could potentially be surpassed on the depth chart by players like Mark Cundari and Dylan DeMelo. He’s on a one-way contract and is a right-handed shot, so he may have a bit of an edge on the competition to make the opening night roster, but he’s going to have to earn it. Otherwise, he’ll be just an expensive spare part on the Barracuda with a questionable NHL future ahead.