SAN JOSE, California – San Jose Sharks (@sanjosesharks) Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced today that the club has re-signed Group II restricted free agent forward James Sheppard to a one-year contract.
In 2012-13, Sheppard played 32 games with San Jose, registering four points (one goal, three assists), 12 penalty minutes and 63 hits which ranked fifth on the team. He also played 34 games with Worcester in the American Hockey League, posting 23 points (eight goals, 15 assists) and 52 penalty minutes. Sheppard ranked second on the Worcester team in scoring at the time of his departure.
“James played his best hockey for us in the playoffs and his game continues to improve after missing the past couple seasons,” said Wilson. “He's got good size and strength and we think he can elevate his game to an even higher level.”
In April, the San Jose chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association selected Sheppard as its 2013 nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy. The Masterton Trophy is awarded each season under the trusteeship of the PHWA to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Sheppard had missed two full NHL seasons from 2010-12 after suffering a career-threatening leg injury as a result of an ATV-accident during a guided tour during a summer hockey camp. He made his NHL return on Jan. 22 at Edmonton, his first game since suiting up for the Minnesota Wild on April 8, 2010.
The 25 year-old Sheppard has appeared in 256 career NHL games with Minnesota and San Jose, recording 53 points (12 goals, 41 assists) and 120 penalty minutes.
The six-foot-one, 205-pound native of Halifax, Nova Scotia was acquired by San Jose via trade on Aug. 7, 2011. He was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (9th overall) in the 2006 NHL Draft.