|Sharks F James Sheppard (photo from NHL.com)|
Ten days ago, James Sheppard returned to action after eighteen months of rehabbing a knee injury from an ATV accident. The 9th overall selection by Minnesota in 2006 was assigned by San Jose to their AHL affiliate Worcester for conditioning and played his first four minor league games.
Sheppard was held scoreless but went +1 for the Sharks with 2 penalty minutes. He did, however, set a screen on Providence goalie Adam Courchaine that allowed for Worcester to score. Because of that and (more likely) the fact that conditioning stats can only last 14 days, San Jose called James up to the active roster earlier today.
So ladies and gentlemen, getcha popcorn ready...James Sheppard is back in the NHL.
3/11 UPDATE: Hold your hats. Per a report by CSN Bay Area insider Kevin Kurz, Sheppard will not be activated this season because San Jose worries they will lose him on waivers.
According to Sharks general manager Doug Wilson, Sheppard is “80 to 90 percent there” in terms of his recovery from a devastating left knee injury. When the club acquired Sheppard from the Minnesota for a 2013 third round pick in August, it knew that Sheppard’s rehab would be lengthy, and there was a strong possibility he would not play any NHL games this season.
“We understood the medical side, and were willing to put the time into it,” Wilson said, adding that Sheppard is “right on track” with where they expected him to be, medically.