The San Jose Sharks today re-signed center Dylan Gambrell. CapFriendly reports that the contract is a one-year deal worth $1.1MM, all paid in base salary. It’s worth noting that Gambrell, who’s still 24 years old, will again be a restricted free agent with arbitration rights at the conclusion of the 2021-22 campaign.
Gambrell was drafted 60th overall as an overager by the Sharks at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft after a strong freshman campaign at the University of Denver, where he posted 47 points in just 41 games. But after turning pro at the end of the 2017-18 season, Gambrell has struggled to produce offensively at the NHL level. With just 10 goals and 23 points in 110 career NHL games, Gambrell’s struggled to find the scoring touch that even carried over to the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda.
The center saw a sharp increase in responsibility this season due to San Jose’s lack of forward depth. Playing over 16 minutes a night, he struggled both offensively and defensively against tougher opponents. While there’s reason to believe that Gambrell might blossom in a more sheltered role due to the potential he showed in college, he likely won’t get that chance with the Sharks as they continue to rebuild. Gambrell might have to continue to work to develop his game on the fly in a top-nine or even top-six role. But despite the poor numbers, general manager Doug Wilson appeared impressed with Gambrell’s progress this season:
Dylan appeared in his first full-time role last season with us and showed he is a reliable player. He played in a lot of different situations and utilized his speed to be an effective player.
But even with the extension today, there’s not a guarantee that Gambrell will be wearing a Sharks jersey next season. As he’ll likely be left exposed for July 21st’s Seattle Expansion Draft, the native of Bonney Lake, WA might draw the eye of his new hometown team. With lesser responsibility and a different development staff, Gambrell may begin to showcase the potential that got him drafted in 2016.