Sunday, October 28, 2007

Setoguchi, Kaspar to debut against Stars

With Ryane Clowe and Rob Davison on injured reserve, two former San Jose first-round picks, Devin Setoguchi (8th overall in 2005) and Lukas Kaspar (22nd overall in 2004), will make their NHL debuts Monday night, when Dallas hosts the Sharks, reports David Pollak.

Setoguchi finished third in NHL preseason goal scoring, compiling five goals and seven points in six preseason games for the Sharks, but a leg injury prevented him from starting the season on the active roster, allowing him to rehabilitate in the AHL. In six preseason games, Kaspar regsitered four assists, good for second on the team, and eleven shots on goal. In 160 career games for the Worcester franchise, Kaspar has scored 27 goals and 51 assists for 78 points. Setoguchi has been held off the scoresheet in three games for Worcester this season, but in 255 career WHL games for Saskatoon and Prince George, has scored 118 goals and 125 assists for 243 points, along with 19 goals and 14 assists in 29 playoff games.

But enough statistics. Setoguchi and Kaspar are obviously being counted on to jump start what has been a tepid offense the last two games for the Sharks, with Kaspar likely to flank Patrick Marleau and Steve Bernier on the team's second line and Setoguchi to play right wing on the third line with Patrick Rissmiller and the team's other rookie, Torrey Mitchell. While Kaspar's offensive statistics are fairly underwhelming for a first-round draft pick, he has developed into an all-rounded two-way player in the AHL and will likely be counted on to bring speed and defensive conscience to Marleau's line and, with Mike Grier continuing to nurse a groin injury, may see some time on the penalty kill. Setoguchi developed considerable chemistry playing with Mitchell in the preseason and having the speedy center as his pivot once again should help Setoguchi adjust to the NHL.

1 comment:

GregSJ said...

Setoguchi's first goal was gorgeous. Showed the skills that made him a top draft pick. Hopefully his spark can continue to lift the team.