4:48 PM: In a clarification report, Sheng Peng of NBC Sports has relayed that Lindblom has in fact been placed on the injured reserve, rather than being sent down to the Barracuda.
2:02 PM: The San Jose Sharks recalled forward prospect Daniil Gushchin from the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda on Monday, per a team release. Forward Oskar Lindblom was returned to the Barracuda. in a corresponding transaction.
Gushchin hasn’t been the subject of much public discussion, but he’s seen his stock rise significantly since the Sharks selected him in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft. He’s off to a great start in the minors this season, leading the Barracuda in scoring with four goals, nine assists and 13 points in 11 games.
The 21-year-old right winger was a prolific scorer in junior hockey, leading the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks and the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs in scoring in his first two post-draft seasons. While he’s got a great shot, he also possesses the talents to develop into a proficient two-way winger, with Elite Prospects calling him a “tenacious back checker who often almost functions as a third defenseman in transition at times.”
Gushchin did not look out of place in a two-game call-up at the end of last season. Skating on a line with Tomáš Hertl and Jacob Peterson, he averaged 15:55 per game and notched his first two NHL points, a goal and an assist.
He was active in getting pucks toward the net during his stint, too, averaging four shots on goal and six shot attempts per game. The Sharks’ next game is on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers, during which he could make his 2023-24 NHL season debut.
Meanwhile, Lindblom returns to the minors after a five-day recall. He was on the Sharks’ active roster for their last three games but only played once, recording no shots and a -1 rating in 11:56 of action against the Vegas Golden Knights on Friday. The 27-year-old cleared waivers preseason after failing to make the team out of camp and recording just six goals in 73 games last season.
In the second year of a two-year deal earning him $2.5MM per season, it is still a remarkable comeback story for Lindblom, who’s still managed to leverage a solid pro career after missing most of the 2020 calendar year while undergoing treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. In eight games with the Barracuda this season, Lindblom has a goal, assist and -6 rating.
While buried in the minors, $1.35MM of Lindblom’s $2.5MM cap hit still counts against the team’s salary cap. With defenseman Radim Simek also counting $1.1MM against the cap while buried in the minors, the Sharks are currently hit with a $2.45MM penalty for buried players.