San Jose’s Jason Demers got a little bit of a shock when he was sent to the AHL three weeks ago. After all, he had made the big club right out of camp and looked very good in the early going.
His numbers were so strong that despite nearly three weeks in the minors, he still ranks third among rookie blueliners with 13 points.
Demer’s strengths are almost in what you don’t see. He is offensive without being flashy and defensively he is strong without delivering the bone crushing hits that draw television attention.
Yet, he is still a rookie and rookies have things to learn. Thus, it should not have been a surprise that he was returned to Worcester where he spent all of last year. Even given that, it was not an easy fact to hear that he was being shipped out.
“I think it was tough at first because I wanted to be here all year,” said Demers.
The young Quebec product was comforted by Sharks players who have been sent to the AHL to refine their trade.
“A few guys came and talked to me,” said Demers. “The guys told me to keep my head up and make it back. They (management) want everyone to reach their full potential.
Demers had some tough lessons to learn, but they were all teachable qualities and his accountability in the reassignment is commendable.
“Things happen and the blame is all on me,” said Demers. “I wasn’t performing the way they wanted me to.”
So what exactly did he need to work on?
“It’s about being more consistent,” said Demers. “Night in and night out being more productive and trying to work on being ready every shift. You can’t take a shift off here. I tried to be a professional every game down there.”
In Worcester, Demers’ NHL experience almost makes him a veteran in the AHL. “
“I tried to lead by example,” said Demers. “We have a lot of first year players and I tried to play my game and do what got me here in the first place.”
Now he is back and he played a nice game in his return against Anaheim.
Demers developed a nice chemistry with Kent Huskins early in the year and they were paired together again on Thursday.
“It felt good to be back with Kent,” said Demers. “We played a good solid game last night. We made plays when we had to be there.”
Demers admitted to having butterflies upon his return Thursday night.
“I was nervous during warmups,” said Demers. “I felt nervous like the first preseason game. I calmed down and kept it simple.”
He can’t control the future, but there is no doubt where Demers wants to be the rest of the season.
“I’m here now and happy to be back,” said Demers. “I accomplished what I wanted to do and get back here, but the work is not done.
WORKOUT Todd McLellan gave his team another day away from the ice and simply had off ice workouts at Sharks Ice.
WORCESTER San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has reassigned forwards Frazer McLaren and Jamie McGinn to the Worcester Sharks, the team’s top development affiliate in the American Hockey League.
NEXT GAME The Sharks will visit Dallas on Sunday in a 5:30 p.m. start that will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com.