Worcester Alums Making an Impact in San Jose
By Darcy Hamilton
Worcester Sharks fans will recognize a lot of faces on the San Jose ice this year. Of the 24 players currently on the roster, 12 have spent time in Worcester. In fact, three players from last year’s Worcester Sharks, Matt Nieto, John McCarthy and Alex Stalock, made the San Jose roster. Below you can see which San Jose players have spent time with Worcester, and what they’re up to so far this season.
Logan Couture – Logan Couture, who played with the Worcester Sharks from 2009-10 before moving up to San Jose, has made a huge impact in the NHL. Skating for the first line for the Sharks, Couture has proven himself a valuable asset to the organization. So far this season Couture is +4 with two goals and two assists.
Matthew Nieto – Nieto spent last year with Boston University before coming to the Worcester Sharks to play for the remainder of the 2012-13 season. Having grown up in Long Beach, Nieto is the only current San Jose Shark originally from California. So far in his rookie season, Nieto has one goal and two assists.
Matt Irwin - the UMASS-Amherst alum has made the full time jump ito the NHL this season after making his debut last year with the San Jose Sharks. Make sure to hold on to that Worcester Sharks Matt Irwin bobble as Matt is getting a lot of time on the San Jose Sharks power play!
Tommy Wingels – Wingels, drafted by the Sharks in the sixth round of the 2008 Entry Draft, spent time in Worcester during the 2010-11 season and the 2011-12 season before earning a more permanent spot with the Sharks in the 2012-13 season. So far this year, Wingels is +4, with one goal and two assists.
Jason Demers – Jason Demers is not new to San Jose but Worcester fans should remember him from the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Demers played in Worcester along with current San Jose teammates Andrew Desjardins, Justin Braun, John McCarthy, Alex Stalock and Logan Couture.
Justin Braun – Braun spent the very end of the 2009-10 season and half of the 2010-11 season with Worcester before moving on to San Jose. While Braun only didn’t score at all in the 2012-13 season, he has wowed Sharks fans this year, scoring two goals in three games played!
Andrew Desjardins – Andrew Desjardins hasn’t been in a Worcester uniform since 2011 but Sharks fans still remember him for his aggressive play and toughness. Since arriving in San Jose, Desjardins has been solid, known especially for his skill on the penalty kill. This season, Desjardins has already racked up two assists in three games.
John McCarthy – McCarthy, a Boston native drafted by San Jose in 2006, is a familiar face around
Worcester. He has spent his entire professional career with the Sharks, going back and forth between San Jose and Worcester since 2009. McCarthy spent the entirety of last season with Worcester and was team captain.
James Sheppard – Sheppard split his time last season between Worcester and San Jose, making an impact on both squads. In 32 games with Worcester, Sheppard had eight goals and 15 assists. He also scored one goal and tallied three assists with San Jose.
Alex Stalock - Stalock’s time in San Jose has been long-anticipated. After a season-ending injury in 2011 prevented Stalock from moving up, he spent a few more years in Worcester preparing, splitting time with current Sharks goalie Harri Sateri. This year, Stalock will back up Antti Niemi, gaining valuable experience at the NHL level. Stalock is still looking to make his first NHL start.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Vlasic may have only played one game in Worcester, but it was an exciting one. In January of 2008, Vlasic skated with the Sharks in a shootout victory over the Springfield Falcons, tallying two assists. Currently, Vlasic has one goal and three assists.
Joe Pavelski – Pavelski played in 16 games during the 2006-07 season with Worcester before moving up to play with San Jose. In those 16 games, Pavelski scored eight goals and recorded 18 assists. He continues to be a playmaker in San Jose. Three games to the season, Pavelski has already picked up five assists.
The San Jose season has already begun but the Worcester season kicks off Saturday, Oct 12 against the Springfield Falcons. Be sure to follow us on Twitter for all the latest updates on the team @WorcesterSharks.