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Sharks Prospect of the Week: John Leonard

by Nicola Karasik / sjsharks.com

John Leonard, 21, has been selected as the Sharks Prospect of the Week for the week of Oct. 28 after posting four goals to help seal the University of Massachusetts' (UMass) two-game sweep of Northeastern. Leonard's efforts improved the Minutemen to 6-1 on the season, now ranking third overall in the NCAA Hockey East standings. 

It was a score-filled weekend for the UMass junior as Leonard found the net twice on Friday and twice again on Saturday, each in thrilling wins over the Huskies. He helped the Minutemen rally back from an early deficit in Friday's game by blasting one home after just 16 seconds into the second period to even things up, 2-2. He struck the net again at the end of the third to put the game out of reach in a 6-3 road victory.

Leonard continued to make strides for UMass as he opened the scoring in Saturday's contest, with his third goal of the weekend coming with 10 seconds left in the first period. After a third period back-and-forth deadlock, he restored UMass' lead with a highlight-reel game-winner, earning 'First Star of the Game' honors. The Amherst, Mass. native now has seven goals through seven games with a plus-three rating on the year.

Tweet from @UMassHockey: My goodness @jleno09 😱@Buccigross #NewMass | #Flagship 🚩 pic.twitter.com/6Y49H4Q2cM

Last season, Leonard registered 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) over 40 games for the Minutemen and earned a spot on the NCAA Hockey East Second All-Star Team. In 2017-18, his first season with UMass, Leonard collected 28 points (13 goals, 15 assists) over 33 games played, which tied the record for the second-most goals by a freshman during the Minutemen's Hockey East era, and earned Hockey East Rookie of the Year.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pound left winger was originally selected in the sixth round (182nd overall) by San Jose in the 2018 NHL draft. Leonard's selection made him the first UMass player to be drafted following his freshman season since former Sharks defenseman Justin Braun was selected in 2007.

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