SAN JOSE – Timo Meier, a 19-year-old prospect that was expected to challenge for a spot on the Sharks’ opening night roster, will miss approximately four weeks with mononucleosis the club announced on Friday.
"Timo Meier is expected to be unable to play in any NHL or AHL games for approximately four weeks after being diagnosed with mononucleosis,” general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement. “He will remain in the Bay Area where he can skate and train as his recovery allows."
Meier had missed five straight days of training camp before returning to the ice on Friday. What he thought originally to be strep throat turned out to be something worse.
The ninth overall pick in the 2016 draft, who turns 20 on Oct. 8, began training camp skating on a line with Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto. He practiced for two days before falling ill.
His absence opens the door for at least one or two other prospects to make the Sharks, who open the season on Oct. 12 against Los Angeles.
“It definitely opens up room, more guys are going to get an opportunity to play in exhibition games,” coach Pete DeBoer said on Thursday, before learning of the severity of Meier’s illness.
“You maybe had a guy penciled in for one game, but because you had Timo penciled in for two or three or four, now every game that he misses someone else gets that chance. I think that’s just the way the hockey world works.”
Meier will almost certainly have to begin the season with the Barracuda when he’s fully recovered.
Last season, Meier finished tied for 11th in the QMJHL in scoring with 87 points (34g, 53a) in 52 games. He was traded midseason from Halifax to Rouyn-Noranda, and posted 23 points (11g, 12a) in 18 playoff games for the Huskies, who won the league championship but lost to London in the championship game of the Memorial Cup.
Meier also competed in the World Juniors for Switzerland, and in six games as captain he collected five points (2g, 3a).