Anonymous NHL scout predicts Leon Gawanke will make Sharks’ roster

Anonymous NHL scout predicts Leon Gawanke will make Sharks’ roster originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Editor’s Note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.

Don’t count out Leon Gawanke from making the San Jose Sharks‘ opening day roster.

San Jose Hockey Now recently spoke with an NHL scout from outside the San Jose organization who expects the AHL lifer to start the season with the Sharks.

“Gawanke can score 30 points in the NHL this year,” he said.

While that’s not a number to crow about, it could lead Sharks defensemen in the coming campaign. Last season, after the recently traded Erik Karlsson’s league-leading 101 points, the next Sharks blueliner Matt Benning followed with 24.

Without Karlsson, it’s an open field for a Shark to add some offensive punch from the blueline.

If the 24-year-old rookie can hit 30 points and help out on the power play in his NHL debut, the Sharks probably will be pleased with the Artemi Kniazev-for-Gawanke swap they made earlier this summer with the Winnipeg Jets.

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