SAN JOSE – The Sharks reassigned forward Barclay Goodrow to their AHL affiliate in Worcester on Wednesday, the 22-year-old told the media after practice. Goodrow was seen chatting with general manager Doug Wilson immediately after stepping off the ice.
The move effectively ends Goodrow’s rookie season in the NHL, as the Sharks have just two games remaining. In 60 games, Goodrow posted 4 goals, 12 points and 35 penalty minutes.
The Toronto native, signed as a free agent on March 6, 2014 after five seasons in the OHL, impressed in training camp before hurting his left hand in the team’s final preseason game. That injury delayed his NHL debut until Oct. 30.
He’ll remain in Worcester, where he played two games during the NHL All-Star break, to aid in that team’s playoff push.
Todd McLellan spoke on Goodrow’s first season as a professional.
“He gained a lot of experience, ups and downs in all facets of the game,” McLellan said. “He played extremely well early in training camp and then hurt himself, and I think that set him back, like it would any player. Then he had to work hard to get back in the lineup, and then he had some ups and downs.
“I think there’s more to his game that we’ll see as he gets more confident and feels more comfortable and maybe gets more opportunity. That will come in time.”
Goodrow used the same terminology as his coach when reflecting on his first NHL season.
“Coming into next year I just need to limit the downs I have, and keep the ups going a bit longer,” he said.
“I think I got better as the season went along, and definitely learned a lot and know what it’s like to be in the league and what it takes to stay in the league. I think it’s going to help me go into the summer. … I know what I need to work on, and I’ll look to come back a better player in September.”
The transaction all but ensures that Bryan Lerg will play in Edmonton on Thursday, after he was a late scratch on Monday against Dallas. Lerg, 29, has spent seven years in the AHL and had to overcome two significant knee injuries on his path to the NHL.
He’s also Worcester’s captain. Chris Tierney, who spent several weeks in Worcester this season, spoke about Lerg’s role on that club.
“He’s really respected and everybody likes him as the captain and a leader,” Tierney said. “He does a good job of leading off the ice, but he’s really someone you look at on the ice. He competes every night. He might take an elbow to the face or a high stick, but he’s back the next shift. Guys really respect him, and he’s earned this.”