San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson recently signed Justin Bernhardt, Erik Felde, Brock Hooton, Randy King, Brady Leisenring, Matthew McCue and Graham Potuer to NHL Amateur Tryout Agreements.
All seven players are scheduled to participate with other Sharks prospects in the Fourth Annual Pacific Division Shootout and will be competing against prospects from the Anaheim Ducks, Phoenix Coyotes and the Los Angeles Kings. The tournament, hosted this year by Los Angeles, is scheduled for Sept. 8-12 in El Segundo, Calif.
Bernhardt, Felde, Hooton, King, Leisenring, McCue and Potuer are all looking to replicate the success experienced by current players within the Sharks organization like forwards Patrick Rissmiller and Mike Iggulden and defensemen Garrett Stafford and Brad Staubitz. All four players initially signed tryout agreements and through their solid performances, each earned roster spots within the organization.
Most recently, it was Iggulden and Staubitz who both signed with the Sharks organization after last year’s Pacific Division Shootout. This year’s amateur tryout players are focused on achieving the same feat.
Bernhardt spent last season with the Regina Pats (WHL) where he was a very steady center, recording 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) in 61 games. In the 2006 WHL playoffs, Bernhardt added six points (two goals, four assists) in six games.
Felde spent last season with the Vernon Vipers (BCHL) where he was highest scoring defenseman in the league, adding 96 points (43 goals, 53 assists) in 71 games. In the 2005-06 season, Felde played both defense and forward but will likely play forward during his career.
Hooton, in his senior season at St. Cloud State University, served as an assistant captain for the Huskies of the WCHA, recording 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) in 42 games (T-fourth on the team). The Nanaimo, British Columbia native was previously drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the fifth round (150th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
King spent last season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes (WHL) where he was a consistent defenseman, adding 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 36 games.
Leisenring spent last season with the University of Vermont Catamounts in Hockey East, scoring 35 points (11 goals, 24 assists) in 37 games. He ranked second on the team in points, behind teammate and Sharks prospect, Torrey Mitchell
. In 2005-06, Leisenring also played in three games with the Cleveland Barons, then the Sharks top development affiliate in the American Hockey League, adding one goal.
McCue spent last season with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, recording 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 56 games. He was drafted by Spokane in the second round (27th Overall) of the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft.
Potuer spent last season with the Everett Silvertips (WHL), contributing six points (one goal, five assists) in 63 games. In the 2006 WHL playoffs, Potuer added an assist in 13 games. He was drafted by Everett in the ninth round (161st overall) of the 2003 WHL Bantam Draft.
“We’ve spent a lot of time watching each of these players and we are excited to have them join us for the Pacific Division Shootout,” said Wilson. “The progress and success of each player is a testament to the excellent programs run by the coaches and organizations of the players.”
For updates on these players and on the Fourth Annual Pacific Division Shootout, please continue to check sjsharks.com.