SAN JOSE – The Sharks have recalled center Danny O’Regan from the AHL Barracuda, now that Tomas Hertl has been placed on injured reserve and is likely out for the next several weeks.
O’Regan, 22, is expected to make his NHL debut on Monday against New Jersey, centering the fourth line between Micheal Haley and Tommy Wingels. The five-foot-nine, 180-pounder is tied for the Barracuda team lead with 11 points (5g, 6a) in 11 games.
“It’s really just a dream come true. I’ve been dreaming of this opportunity my whole life,” O’Regan said. “I’m just really excited, and can’t even describe it.”
Pete DeBoer said: “He’s had a great start down there. When you talk to [Barracuda coach] Roy Sommer, he’s been one of their most consistent and one of their best players.”
Patrick Marleau started the Sharks game in Arizona on Saturday as the third line center in place of Hertl, but he will remain on the top line with Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski after skating there for the third period against the Coyotes. Chris Tierney will center the third line.
“[O’Regan is] a centerman, we’re looking for a little bit of a position need,” DeBoer said. “We’ve got some bodies here coming off the road for 14 days, we just want to inject a little bit of energy. He’s deserved the opportunity, and excited to see him tonight.”
A fifth round pick of the Sharks in 2012, O’Regan wrapped up a four-year career at Boston University last season, leading the Terriers in scoring with 50 points (23g, 27a) in 41 games. He was named as a Hockey East First Team All-Star.
O’Regan’s parents and sister are on a flight from Boston and are expected to be in attendance. His father, Tom O’Regan, played 61 career NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 1984-86.
“It was pretty cool to give him the call, he was obviously really excited for me. He said just play your game, do everything that you’ve been doing that got you here.”
Kevin Labanc will come out of the lineup as a healthy scratch.
* * *
DeBoer didn’t offer any new information on Hertl. Injured forward Melker Karlsson, though, was on the ice in a tracksuit on Monday and is nearing a return.
“He’s getting better,” DeBoer said. “Hopefully we’ll see him this week.”
Karlsson has missed the last three games after blocking a shot with his left foot/ankle on Nov. 12 in Tampa Bay.