SAN JOSE, CA - San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) Interim General Manager Joe Will announced today that the club has signed defenseman Gannon Laroque (@LaroqueGannon) to a standard, entry-level contract. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Gannon had a very strong season with Victoria and was arguably the most improved prospect in our system. He has displayed an impressive blend of steady, defensive play matched with an ability to generate offense," Will said. "We're excited about working with him to continue his development."
Laroque, 18, registered 52 points (10 goals, 42 assists) in 63 games for the Victoria Royals of the Western Hockey League (WHL). Among WHL defensemen, he finished in the top 10 in assists (ninth), points (10th) and power-play assists (24, tied-seventh), and he was the fourth-youngest defenseman to reach the 50-point threshold in the WHL this season. Laroque paced all Victoria defensemen in almost every major offensive category, ranking first in goals, assists, points, shots (118), power-play points (28) and game-winning goals (two). His 10 goals and 42 assists are the most recorded by a defenseman for Victoria since 2017-18 and 2015-16, respectively. At the end of the season, Laroque was the recipient of the Royals Top Defenseman Award, was named to the WHL B.C. Division First All-Star Team, was the WHL B.C. Division Defenseman of the Year and was one of four nominees for WHL Defenseman of the Year. He signed an Amateur Tryout agreement with the San Jose Barracuda on April 20 and recorded one assist in three American Hockey League games.
In 2020-21, Laroque recorded seven points (one goal, six assists) in 21 games for Victoria, finishing as the Royals highest-scoring defenseman, second highest-scoring rookie and earning their Top Defenseman Award. He notched his first WHL assist in his second game of the season and scored his first WHL goal just two games later. He also appeared in four games for the Spruce Grove Saints of the Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL), collecting a pair of assists.
The defenseman split the 2019-20 season between three leagues, recording 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in as many games for the Northern Alberta X-Treme of the Canadian Sport School Hockey League U18 Prep division, while also appearing in five games for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons (AJHL) and three games for Victoria.
The six-foot-two, 200-pound native of Edmonton, Alberta was selected by San Jose in the 2021 NHL Draft (fourth round, 103rd overall). Laroque is of Métis heritage.