SAN JOSE -- The Sharks will open the season with a 22-man roster after four players were returned to Worcester.

Those making the final cut Friday include two forwards with NHL experience -- James Sheppard and Frazer McLaren -- as well as two defensemen with none, Matt Irwin and Nick Petrecki.

McLellan has said he will let the situation dictate whether he uses Sheppard, 24, a former Minnesota first-round pick in 2006 who had 11 goals and 49 points in 224 games with the Wild, or McLaren, 25, whose most notable stat is 85 penalty minutes in 39 games over three seasons with the Sharks.

Petrecki, 23, a Sharks first-round pick in the 2007 draft, will start as the team's spare defenseman while Irwin, 25, is paired with Boyle.

The Sharks also announced that both Sheppard and Petrecki have been given new one-year, two-way contracts. Sheppard will earn $825,000 and Petrecki will earn $650,000 pro rated when they are in the NHL.

Defensemen Matt Pelech and Matt Tennyson as well as forwards John McCarthy and Bracken Kearns were sent back to the AHL after clearing waivers.

For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.



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