The San Jose Sharks have signed restricted free agent forward James Sheppard to a one-year contract, as well as forward Andrew Desjardins to a two-year contract.
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.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 during the 2011-2012 campaign, dressing in 34 games for the baby Sharks, producing 24 points. In 34 games with San Jose last year, he only managed four points.
Andrew Desjardins played four seasons (2003–07) of junior hockey in the OHL with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He turned professional for the 2007–08 season suiting up for 64 regular season and 11 playoff games for the Laredo Bucks of the CHL. The following season (2008–09) he played 5 games in the ECHL with the Phoenix RoadRunners and 74 regular season and 12 playoff games in the AHL with the Worcester Sharks. In the 2009–10 AHL season he played a full season with Worcester. On June 26, 2010, the San Jose Sharks signed Desjardins as a free agent, and would record 3 points during the past NHL season.
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