Sharks sign center Oleksuk to entry-level deal

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Sharks sign center Oleksuk to entry-level deal

The Sharks signed center Travis Oleksuk to an entry-level contract Friday, the team announced in a press release. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Travis has had an outstanding collegiate career, including a National Championship and we are excited to help him take the next step in his hockey development, GM Doug Wilson said in a release. Head Coach Scott Sandelin and his staff at Minnesota-Duluth have done a terrific job creating a winning environment at UMD and we think Travis will benefit greatly from that experience moving forward.

Oleksuk, 23, was the second leading scorer at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He finished with 53 points (21 G, 32 A) in 41 games.

Oleksuk stands six feet tall and weighs 195 pounds.
San Jose Sharks media services contributed to this report

Sharks coach DeBoer had 'good relationship' with Kovalchuk

Sharks coach DeBoer had 'good relationship' with Kovalchuk

CHICAGO – Ilya Kovalchuk is still reportedly mulling over a return to the NHL, four years after he surprisingly walked away from a monstrous contract with the New Jersey Devils to play in the KHL.

The Sharks have been linked to Kovalchuk, in large part because of Pete DeBoer, who was Kovalchuk’s most recent head coach. In 2011-12, Kovalchuk was a dangerous scoring winger under DeBoer, helping the Devils reach the Stanley Cup Final.

It was apparently a good working relationship between the player and the coach for the two seasons they were together, DeBoer said on Friday at the NHL Entry Draft at United Center.

“I loved Kovy in New Jersey,” DeBoer said. “We went to a Stanley Cup Final together. He was a huge piece for us there. I really enjoyed coaching him. I haven’t seen him in four or five years now. I’m sure there’s still a lot of game left there.”

DeBoer said he’s had no contact with the 34-year-old Kovalchuk, who would have to be traded by New Jersey before signing a new contract with any other NHL club. Still, it seems like the Sharks’ coach might welcome a reunion with Kovalchuk, who posted 78 points in 60 games with SKA Saint Petersburg last season, and has 816 points (417g, 399a) in 816 career NHL games with Atlanta and New Jersey.

“I had a really good relationship with him. I had a lot of respect for him as a player and a person,” DeBoer said.

* * *

DeBoer seemed as uncertain as everyone else as to whether Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will return to the Sharks or move on to other clubs as free agents.

But, naturally, it’s on his mind.

“You think about it all the time,” DeBoer said. “They’re obviously important pieces in the history of the franchise, and in our group. I also understand the business side of this, and there’s always tough decisions to make. The way I approach these type of things is I’m going to go to Canada and relax, and Doug [Wilson] is going to make those decisions. I’m sure we’ll have a good group come training camp.”

“We’ve got a really good core group of guys and some tough decisions that have to be made. The one thing Doug and his group has shown over the years is their ability to stay competitive, to find a way even after making tough decisions. I have all the faith in the world in that, and I’m excited about training camp.”

* * *

The Sharks lost David Schlemko in the expansion draft earlier in the week. Vegas then flipped him to the Canadiens for a fifth round pick in 2019.

“I think for David, it’s a great opportunity for him, especially going to Montreal,” DeBoer said. “For us, it’s an opportunity for a young guy to jump in. The one thing we have in the organization is some depth. There’s a lot of guys knocking on the door, and guys hungry to grab that job.”

Sharks begin second day of 2017 draft by selecting a defenseman

Sharks begin second day of 2017 draft by selecting a defenseman

CHICAGO – The Sharks used their first pick on the second day of the draft to select defenseman Mario Ferraro at 49th overall.

The Sharks acquired the second round pick from New Jersey earlier in the week as part of the trade for Mirco Mueller.

Ferraro, a five-foot-11, 185-pound Toronto native, will attend the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in the fall. The 18-year-old posted 41 points (8g, 33a) in 60 games for Des Moines of the USHL last season.

“I describe myself as an offensive defenseman that takes pride in the d-zone,” Ferraro said. “Obviously, I like to get involved offensively. I think I’m a good skater, and I transition the puck up the ice quick. I also like to be physical in the d-zone and use my body.”

Ferraro said he needs to work on "my shot, especially. Getting pucks through to the net to create scoring chances, and I also want to work on when and when not to get up in the play, and reading the play better.”

Ferraro, the 78th-ranked North American skater according to NHL Central Scouting and a left-handed shot, had about 20 friends and family in attendance at the draft.

“I’m very honored to be wearing this jersey right now. It was amazing. It’s been an amazing day so far.”

The Sharks chose center Josh Norris with their first round pick (19th overall) on Friday.

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The Sharks swapped picks with the Rangers in the fourth round, sending the 123rd and 174th overall picks to New York to jump to the 102nd slot, where they chose six-foot-one, 201-pound center Scott Reedy.

In 60 games with the U.S. National Under-18 team last season, the 18-year-old Reedy posted 22 goals and 20 assists for 42 points. He considers himself "solid friends" with Norris, after playing with him for the past two seasons.

Reedy, who had a large contingent of friends and family in attendance, will play for the University of Minnesota in the fall.

“I’d say I’m a skilled power forward," Reedy said. "I use my hockey IQ to create time and space to make plays. I’m good around the net, use my body well.”

He had good things to say about Norris, too.

“He’s a fast guy," Reedy said. "He’s got a great shot, that’s one of his many strengths. He’s very versatile. He can play last five minutes when you’re down by a goal, or just by a goal. He brings leadership to the table, so I have a lot of respect for him in that manner. I think we can work well together.”