July 9, 2015 By Paul Gackle

Roy Sommer Sees Chartier As A ‘Logan Couture Type’

SAN JOSE — Remember this name: Rourke Chartier.

While the San Jose Sharks 2015 development camp roster is filled with talented prospects, like Timo Meier, Nikolay Goldobin and Jeremy Roy, the most complete player in the pipeline might be Chartier, the team’s 2014 fifth-round pick.

Chartier emerged as a top-30 NHL prospect last season, scoring 82 points in 58 games for the Kelowna Rockets while also leading the squad to the Memorial Cup final. But Chartier is more than just a scoring machine, he’s a smart two-way player, which is why he’s already drawing comparisons to Chris Tierney and Logan Couture.

“There’s some comparisons there,” San Jose Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer said, when asked if Chartier reminds him of a younger Tierney because of his heady two-way game. “Maybe like a Logan Couture type. He’s kind of low to the ground. He’s always around the puck and kind of knows where the puck’s going. Those are the guys that possess a lot of hockey sense.”

After getting selected with No.149 pick in the 2014 NHL draft, Chartier returned to the Rockets last fall and exploded. He led the entire CHL in goal scoring through 32 games, notching 35 tallies, after collecting just 88 points in 130 games during his first two seasons in Kelowna.

Chartier finished the season ranked 14th in the WHL in scoring, despite missing 14 games because of injury. His heroics continued in the WHL playoffs as he tallied 20 points in 16 games, leading the Rockets to the Memorial Cup.

“That’s some impressive stats,” Sommer said, referring to Chartier’s numbers during the 2014-15 season. “You don’t just do that by luck.”

But Chartier’s numbers don’t tell the whole story. They fall short of measuring his defensive awareness, his work ethic and his integrity on the ice, which earned him the CHL’s Sportsman of the Year award last season.

“The longer I saw him, this guy wowed me,” Sommer said, referring to his impression of Chartier at last summer’s development camp.

While Chartier is a top prospect, he’s unlikely to land a spot on the team in training camp this fall. At 19, Chartier is too young to play in the AHL (the cutoff is 20), which means the Sharks would need to keep him on the roster throughout the season unless they opted to send him back to Kelowna after nine NHL games.

As a result, a 20-year-old player, like Nikolay Goldobin, who might not be as sharp as Charier in the defensive zone, is a more likely candidate to earn a spot on the opening-night roster because he can be sent down to the Barracuda for additional seasoning if required.

Chartier is also recovering from an upper-body injury sustained during the WHL playoffs, so he isn’t a full participant in development camp this week.

Wherever he ends up next season, Chartier will be looking to add strength and speed, so he can hold a spot in the NHL when his number is eventually called.

“I just want to keep getting stronger and faster, for sure,” Chartier said. “Speed is such a big part of the game.”

Power Player: Timo Meier entered the 2015 draft with the “NHL ready” label stamped to his forehead and he’s living up to the tag at development camp this week.

Like Chartier, Meier’s age will be a variable when the Sharks coaching staff determines his fate in the fall. At 18, the No. 9 pick in the 2015 draft can either play in the NHL, in the QMJHL with the Halifax Mooseheads or overseas. If the Sharks give him a roster spot after nine NHL games, they won’t be able to move him up and down, like they did with Tierney last season. As a result, he’s likely to be sent back to Halifax come October.

Regardless, the Swiss forward’s power game is leaving an impression on the coaching staff at camp.

“As the camp’s gone on, I thought he’s gotten better and better,” Sommer said. “He’s a power forward, man. He goes hard to the net. Big body. Looks like he’s hard to stop. I’ll tell you what, he’s got a lot of intangibles. He’s good.”

This article was sponsored by Tilden Park Golf Course. Join the Players’ Club for $39.99 a month. Daily range access. Free green fees. Free golf clinics!