As part of their affiliate agreement, the San Jose Sharks optioned goaltender Harri Sateri to the Stockton Thunder last night. The Thunder are affiliated with the Sharks and Oilers at the NHL level and the Oklahoma City Barons and Worcester Sharks at the AHL level. The Thunder announced the assignment on their website.
The Stockton Thunder announced that goaltender Harri Sateri (Sah-TAIR-ee) has been reassigned to the Thunder from San Jose.
Sateri, 21, was selected by San Jose in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft and was ranked #2 among European goaltenders by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau before his selection.
The 6-foot-1 and 190 pound goaltender appeared in seven games with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League last season and went 1-3-1 with a 2.56 goals against average and .918 save percentage. He also played in 37 games for Tampere of the Finnish Elite League, notching a 9-19-8 record with a 2.96 goals against average.
How will this affect Olivier Roy, the first of the four goaltenders in the Oilers' system to graduate to the professional ranks? From the moment the Oilers signed David LeNeveu, barring a significant injury to a goaltender in the AHL or NHL, Roy has been destined to spend the season with the Thunder, presumably working on his game. Roy improved his game incrementally during his QMJHL career and had both a very good prospects camp and training camp with the big club in September. However, his performance was overshadowed by that of Tyler Bunz, the next goaltending prospect in line for his professional debut, and the man most likely to hurdle Roy on the organizational depth chart, especially with Bunz headed to the world's largest Junior stage in December.
But goaltender development is an exquisitely non-linear exercise and a big season in Stockton would establish his legitimacy and put some distance between Roy and the rest of the goalies in the system. That's why playing time is so important to Roy this season. The Sharks are going to ask the Thunder to give Sateri significant playing time, setting Sateri's development at odds with Roy's development.
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