SAN JOSE – There was more shuffling between the Sharks and their AHL affiliate on Wednesday, as the big club recalled rookie center Rourke Chartier from the Barracuda.
The 22-year-old center played 13 games for the Sharks, scoring one goal through that span before being reassigned to the Barracuda on Nov. 17. At the time, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said the reassignment was to help build up Chartier’s confidence – especially because the fourth line, where he’d been playing, was struggling mightily at the time.
“When you’re a young guy and you’re in that situation,” DeBoer said after practice that day, “sometimes it’s better to get into an environment where, instead of it snowballing on you, you can nip it in the bud and get back to playing some big minutes and get your confidence back.”
Clearly, the move paid off. Chartier has since registered eight points (two goals, six assists) in eight AHL games.
How the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native will fill into the lineup still remains to be seen. San Jose continues its search for the perfect combination on its fourth line, where Chartier played center at the start of the season. That position has recently been occupied by Lukas Radil, who tallied a goal and an assist in his last two NHL games while playing with Barclay Goodrow and Melker Karlsson.
Chartier’s playing role could also be dependent on Joe Thornton’s health. The 39-year-old center took a maintenance day on Wednesday, making it twice this week he’s been absent from morning skate. Should the future Hall-of-Famer have to miss Thursday night’s game against the Stars, the Sharks’ forward lines may get rearranged as they look to close out their season series against Dallas with a win.