In the 2015 NHL Draft, the San Jose Sharks had the 9th overall pick. Bypassing such prospects as Mikko Rantanen, Kyle Connor, Brock Boeser, and even Calder Trophy front runner Matthew Barzal, they chose a Swiss-born, Power Forward from the Halifax Mooseheads by the name of Timo Meier.
In his first professional training camp, Meier was expected to make the Sharks opening night roster. Instead, he got sick with mononucleosis during training camp and was assigned to the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. In December, the big club summoned Meier to play in his first NHL game against Montreal. He ended up scoring on his first shot in that same game against Carey Price. However, things would start to get rocky for the young winger. Meier finished that first season struggling to find his offensive touch he had in junior and was delegated to a bottom six role (mostly on the 4th line) with limited minutes. In 34 games played in his first NHL season, Meier only put up 6 points (3 goals, 3 assists).
Meier’s start to this current season began just as he ended the previous year. The Sharks coaching staff again delegated him to a bottom six role, which again was mostly on the 4th line. By the end of November things started to look up as Meier had seen his ice time increase and worked his way onto the 3rd line. At the start of the month of December, Timo moved into a top six role playing alongside Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski. Since that time, Meier has produced.
In the month of February, Timo was red hot and had developed chemistry with Pavelski. Meier put up 5 goals and 4 assists in 14 games in that month alone. He currently sits third on the team in goals with 17 (only 1 goal behind Pavelski) and 27 total points. Some Sharks fans still might be upset that they have Meier on the roster instead of Boeser, Connor, Rantanen or Barzal, but Meier is carving a significant role on the team and will be a key piece to the future of their franchise.
Even when starting the season in a bottom six role, Meier was still getting the puck on net at a decent rate (173 shots so far this season). He also has deceptive speed and isn’t afraid of the dirty areas of the ice. If your league rewards hits, blocks and PIMs, Meier fares well enough in these categories to help your team (90 hits, 40 blocked shots and 41 PIMs). In a Dynasty League format, Meier might very well be owned, but is more than likely under-appreciated by his owner and should be landed fairly easily in a trade.
Don’t let the trade of Evander Kane to the Sharks on deadline day scare you away from Meier. Even after this deal, Meier has had 2 goals in those 4 games played since Kane’s arrival. This goes along with 19 shots on net playing on his new 3rd line role. If he can stay productive, healthy and stay on the Sharks 2nd Power Play line, he should be able to reach 25 or even 30 goals next season. This would make Timo Meier an asset to your squad in many statistical categories.
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