The Sharks announced on Wednesday they have re-signed both forwards Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard to two-year and one-year deals, respectively. Both players would have become restricted free agents on July 5.
“Andrew is a player that plays with an edge, can kill penalties and has the ability to play the North-South game we desire,” said [GM Doug] Wilson. “He always competes hard as is always there for his teammates.
In 2012-13, Desjardins played 42 games for San Jose, posting 3 points (two goals, one assist), 61 penalty minutes, 53 hits and a 54.2% success rate in the faceoff circle. Desjardins played in all 11 playoff games for San Jose, finishing +1 with 28 hits.
In 2012-13, Sheppard played 32 games with San Jose, registering four points (one goal, three assists), 12 penalty minutes and 63 hits which ranked fifth on the team. He also played 34 games with Worcester in the American Hockey League, posting 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) and 52 penalty minutes. Sheppard ranked second on the Worcester team in scoring at the time of his departure.
“James played his best hockey for us in the playoffs and his game continues to improve after missing the past couple seasons,” said Wilson. “He’s got good size and strength and we think he can elevate his game to an even higher level.”
Sheppard’s season this year was his first since he was involved in a career-threatening ATV crash in April 2010 and needed major knee surgery. The Sharks are hopeful the former first-round pick in 2006 can continue to improve his play back to the caliber that got him drafted so high.
But so far so good for the Sharks. They already re-signed Logan Couture to a long-term extension. Then Raffi Torres was re-signed to a multi-year deal. And now the team has retained two important pieces to the bottom six of its corps of forwards.
T.J. Galiardi and Jason Demers remain as the Sharks’ unsigned restricted free agents.