The Sharks have made a pair of roster moves ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Islanders, placing defenseman Ty Emberson and forward Ryan Carpenter on IR, as Curtis Pashelka of the Bay Area News Group relays. Emberson is listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury after missing yesterday’s loss against the Rangers. Meanwhile, Carpenter logged nearly 16 minutes in that game and is now out with an undisclosed injury.
Emberson, 23, has been a pleasant surprise for the Sharks after they claimed him off waivers from the Rangers in September, quickly emerging as a potential replacement for the steeply declining Marc-Édouard Vlasic as a top-four shutdown specialist. A relatively unknown name with no NHL experience entering this season, Emberson has played 16 of San Jose’s 25 games, recently forcing his way up to the team’s top pairing alongside Mario Ferraro. Recording a goal and three assists while averaging 17:51 per game, Emberson has recorded a relatively strong -3 rating on a defensively porous Sharks team and a Corsi share of 46.7% at even strength, far better than the team’s 42.7% overall mark. His pairing with Ferraro has allowed 1.96 expected goals against per 60 minutes, the best of any qualified pairing on the Sharks, per MoneyPuck.
Even if only short-term, his absence cannot be afforded for a team with such a thin blue line. In Emberson’s absence, Kyle Burroughs is expected to play top-pairing duties against the Islanders tomorrow. He has just two assists in 24 games with a -12 rating, averaging nearly 19 minutes per game.
Carpenter has been similarly excellent on the defensive side of the puck this season but figures a bit easier to replace, given he’s seen more limited minutes. The 32-year-old veteran of nearly 350 NHL games has lined up primarily at center for the Sharks this year, recording five points in 18 games and a relatively spectacular Corsi share of 49.3% at even strength despite seeing a majority of defensive zone starts.
After Carpenter cleared waivers and was assigned to AHL San Jose before opening night rosters were due, the Sharks recalled him in late October. He sat as a healthy scratch for one contest but has made 18 straight appearances. Without him, the Sharks are down to 11 healthy forwards (including defenseman-turned-forward Jacob MacDonald), so expect a recall from the minors before tomorrow’s contest.
Emberson will be eligible to return on December 10 against the Golden Knights, while Carpenter will be eligible to return two days later against the Jets. Both will miss at least three games during their mandatory retroactive seven-day stint on IR.