The San Jose Sharks have re-signed forward James Sheppard to a one year, two way deal worth $825,000.
Sheppard was drafted by the Minnesota Wild in the first round (9th overall) in the 2006 NHL draft. Sheppard signed an entry-level contract with the Wild in September of 2007 and began his professional career by making the jump straight from juniors to the NHL. Sheppard made his NHL debut on October 10, 2007 against the Edmonton Oilers, and in his first season with the Wild Sheppard often played major minutes due to injuries to teammates. This helped him set a Wild record for games played by a rookie – he appeared in 78 games. Though he produced only 19 points (5 goals and 14 assists) during his 78 games, he did play in all 6 games vs. the Colorado Avalanche in the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sheppard’s second season would be slightly better than his rookie campaign, scoring five goals and nineteen assists, for a total of twenty-four points. Even with the slight improvement, he would find himself in then-coach Jacques Lemaire’s dog house. Despite scoring only six points in sixty-four games in the 2009-2010 regular season, the Wild resigned James Sheppard to a 1 year contract for the 2010-11 season. On August 6, 2011, Sheppard was traded to the San Jose Sharks for a 3rd round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. He only played four games in the AHL with the Worchester Sharks and none with San Jose, however he did get a chance to prove himself this season, dressing in 34 games for the baby Sharks, producing 24 points.
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