The Sharks rookie battles in Anaheim showed one thing – San Jose’s scouting staff, led by Director of Scouting Tim Burke, can find goaltenders. 2007 third round picks Timo Pielmeier (83rd overall) and Tyson Sexsmith
(91st overall) both allowed just one goal in successive Sharks victories.
For Sexsmith, he has played his entire career on the smaller North American ice, highlighted by a Memorial Cup Championship with Vancouver last year. For Pielmeier, his performance this weekend was just his second contest outside the confines of the larger European ice surfaces.
“At the under-20 championships, I played one game in the Czech Republic on the small rink,” said Pielmeier.
And his impressions after his debut in North America?
“I like it,” said Pielmeier.
Pielmeier has much in common with two other netminders currently in the Sharks organization. Both Thomas Greiss
and Dimitri Patzold, who will be staging a training camp battle to earn a place on the Sharks NHL roster, also played in Cologne.
“Patzold, Greiss and I played in Cologne,” said Pielmeier. “Greiss and I had the same coach, Rupert Meister.”
Meister, who played in the German Elite League, must be doing something right by the way he is turning out prospects for the Sharks organization.
While Germany may never be Sweden when it comes to producing NHL talent from Europe, they are improving as a country all the time.
“It’s getting better and better,” said Pielmeier. “A lot of young teams are doing pretty well. The under-20 team beat the USA.”
Pielmeier is scheduled to play for St. John’s in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this fall and toured his future Newfoundland home this summer.
“The team showed me around the city and where the players were living,” said Pielmeier.
During that stay, he was introduced to a member of the Sharks current roster.
“That is where (Ryane) Clowe and I met,” said Pielmeier.
The two took in a meal during the visit, which has provided a familiar locker room face at Sharks Ice at San Jose.
“He is a really nice kid,” said Clowe. “Someone said he was in town and got us together.”
While it may be a while before Pielmeier and Clowe find themselves as NHL teammates, as netminders usually take longer to develop than defensemen and forwards, Pielmeier likes what he sees in Silicon Valley.
“I was here this summer (for the development camp),” said Pielmeier. “It’s nice.”
Sharks fans will hope to see more nice outings from Pielmeier, like his North American debut this past weekend in Southern California. And just maybe he and Sexsmith will be looking across the ice at each other at this year’s Memorial Cup Tournament.
"We’re excited about his potential," said Sharks Vice President and Assistant General Manager Wayne Thomas. "He is pretty mature for his age. It is impressive the way he handles the puck and reads situations and he also has good athletic ability."
ROENICK HITS TOWN
New Sharks center Jeremy Roenick arrived today and skated in the Captain’s Practice with his teammates for the first time.