SAN JOSE -- The Sharks signed forwards Andrew Desjardins and James Sheppard on Wednesday, with Desjardins receiving a two-year deal and Sheppard a one-year contract. The two were set to become restricted free agents July 5.
Desjardins, 26, had three points in 42 games for the Sharks this season, but won 54.2 percent of his faceoffs and played in all of San Jose's 11 playoff games. Desjardins has 23 points and 112 penalty minutes in 135 career regular season NHL games with San Jose.
"You feel good getting a two-year deal," Desjardins said. "You feel a little more important. It's just good to have that little bit of security. ... It's been kind of a year-to-year thing for me the last six years. It feels good all around, but at the same time, nothing's guaranteed. I still have to go out there and earn it."
The 25-year-old Sheppard, who had major knee surgery in Sept. 2010 and missed most of the following two seasons, played 32 games with San Jose this season and had four points. He also played 34 games with Worcester in the American Hockey League during the lockout, posting 23 points and 52 penalty minutes. The Sharks traded for Sheppard in August 2011.
"When you see a guy go through adversity and a challenge like this, it does reveal its character," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said of Sheppard, a 2006 first round draft choice by Minnesota. "I think his best hockey is ahead of him. ... Now I think you're going to see him flourish. I'm not even going to put a limit on where he can get to."
Sheppard is optimistic he'll be fully healthy when training camp starts in September.
"I still hope to play better and I still have more goals for myself that I want to accomplish," Sheppard said. "The more time passes, the better I feel I can be."
The Sharks have other players who could become restricted free agents, including TJ Galiardi and Jason Demers. Wilson said the club has a "couple other" deals that they are working and was hopeful they would be completed prior to the weekend.