It’s been far from a typical NHL odyssey for Sharks winger Stefan Noesen.
Originally a first-round pick (No. 21 overall) in 2011’s NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators, Noesen was expected to ascend quickly through hockey’s minor leagues.
But two brutal injuries delayed Noesen’s development, pushing back his career timeline.
“I had an ACL injury and I had an Achilles injury,” Noesen told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Brodie Brazil. “For a player developing his first two years, his 20-year-old year and 21-year-old year, those are crucial steps in becoming a player.”
Despite being drafted by the Senators, Noesen never played a game for them. He made his NHL debut with the Ducks a few years after being traded to Anaheim.
He then was claimed off waivers by the New Jersey Devils, where he spent part of the 2016-17 season, along with the entire next two seasons.
The Texas native wasn’t retained after the 2018-19 season in New Jersey, and signed a preseason contract with the Dallas Stars, but was unable to make it out of camp.
After a brief stint in the AHL and a two-way contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Noesen was claimed off waivers by the Sharks in December.
In 34 games with San Jose this season, Noesen registered eight points and became a quick fit within the clubhouse.
“I was very familiar with [Sharks coach Bob Boughner] Boogie,” Noesen said. “I played against him for four years in juniors.
“I understood their style of play and it fit right in with what I was trying to do.”
Noesen’s familiarity with Boughner and willingness to adapt made an impression on the entire roster and front office.
There’s a chance Noesen might finally have found a long-term home in the NHL.