On Monday, the Sharks signed 2004 first round pick Lukas Kaspar to a three-year contract. In 2004-05, Kaspar played his first season of North American hockey with the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario Hockey League. Among OHL rookies, he finished fourth in points (51), tied for fifth in assists (30), and sixth in goals (21). His six power play goals were tied for fourth on the team. In the playoffs, he paced all rookies with 20 points (6 goals, 14 assists) and played a vital role for Ottawa at the Memorial Cup.
"We wanted to get his professional career going so we could have our hands on him," said Sharks Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Burke. "He has some work to do, but he earned it in camp with his improvement. He committed himself physically this summer and he meshes well with our style of play."
Prior to his North American debut, Kaspar spent two seasons for Litvinov in the Czech Republic. In 2003-04, he totaled four goals, two assists and 10 PIM in 37 games. In nine games during the 2002-03 season, he registered one goal and one assist.
If Kaspar does not make the Sharks roster, he would be eligible to play for Cleveland in the American Hockey League.
The six-foot-two, 200-pound native of Most, Czech Republic was originally drafted by San Jose in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (1st round, 22nd overall).
The club also signed free agent defenseman Brad Staubitz to a three-year contract. In 2004-05, Staubitz split the season between Sault-Ste. Marie and Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League. The blueliner set career highs in games (70), points (26), goals (7), assists (18), and PIM (181). In the playoffs, he paced all defensemen in points (20), assists (16), and PIM (70).
In 236 career OHL games, the six-foot-one, 210-pound native of Bright's Grove, Ontario totaled 61 points (15-46-61) and 483 PIM. Appearing in the Pacific Division Shootout for the Sharks, Staubitz was signed as an undrafted free agent.
Team Teal also designated seven players for assignment. They include:
PLAYER POS TEAM ASSIGNED TO STATUS
Riley Armstrong RW Cleveland (AHL) Signed as Free Agent on Sept. 15, 2004
Ray DiLauro D Cleveland (AHL) Signed to a Tryout Contract
Evan Haw D Saskatoon (WHL) Signed to a Tryout Contract
Mike Iggulden RW Cleveland (AHL) Signed to a Tryout Contract
Shane Joseph RW Cleveland (AHL) Signed as Free Agent on June 27, 2004
Michael Vernace D Brampton (OHL) Draft Choice - 2004, 7th round
The following player, in camp on a tryout basis, was released:
Scott Ford D