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Prospect Spotlight: Joachim Blichfeld

by Gina Rodriguez / sjsharks.com

Prospect Spotlight | Blichfeld

Prospect Spotlight | Joachim Blichfeld

WHL Portland Winterhawks forward Joachim Blichfeld is highlighted in the latest Prospect Spotlight

  • 00:59 •

The San Jose Sharks had just five picks in the 2016 NHL Draft, and they used each selection wisely. Forced to look beyond the players sure to go in the first and second rounds, the Sharks found a gem in the seventh round, using the 210th overall pick on Joachim Blichfeld.

Prior to being drafted, the Frederikshavn, Denmark, native played for Malmo's junior squads in the Swedish junior divisions, winning a bronze medal in the Under-18 division in 2015-16. 

After his selection in 2016, he started his first junior season in the Western Hockey League (WHL) on the Portland Winterhawks. Blichfeld is a natural scorer, so registering points came easy in his rookie season. He finished with 58 points (28 goals, 30 assists) in 63 games. 

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Prospect Spotlight: Josef Korenar

by Gina Rodriguez / sjsharks.com

Prospect Spotlight | Korenar

Prospect Spotlight | Korenar

San Jose Barracuda goaltender Josef Korenar is highlighted in the latest Prospect Spotlight

  • 00:59 •

It's not every day that an American Hockey League team has an opportunity to develop a talented goaltender. The San Jose Barracuda are not just witnessing the growth and development of one, but two elite goaltenders at the same time. Antoine Bibeau was the first to arrive after being signed by the Sharks as a free agent on July 1 and two weeks later, Josef Korenar joined the Sharks organization who formed a sharp, gifted tandem for the Barracuda this year.

In his 27 appearances this season with the 'Cuda, Korenar has been exceeding expectations. He currently sits seventh in the league in goals-against average (2.43) and is tied for 11th in save percentage (.914). His 19 wins are tied for eighth in the AHL (19-6-1) and he sits tied for third in shutouts (3). To top off his strong rookie season, Korenar was one of three Barracuda players to represent San Jose at the AHL All-Star Classic in January 2019.

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Prospect Spotlight: Nick DeSimone

by Gina Rodriguez / sjsharks.com

Prospect Spotlight | DeSimone

Prospect Spotlight | Nick DeSimone

San Jose Barracuda defenseman Nick DeSimone is highlighted in the latest Prospect Spotlight

  • 01:07 •

In a sport that continues to become increasingly more about skill and speed rather than size, Nick DeSimone, San Jose Barracuda defenseman, proves that having all three leads to success in professional hockey. His ability to move the puck as well as his speed on both ends of the ice make him an invaluable player within the San Jose Sharks organization. 

Prior to joining the Barracuda in 2017, the six-foot-two,195-pound native of East Amherst, New York played three years at Union College, helping the Dutchmen reach the first round of the NCAA Hockey College Championship tournament. In his final year, he led Union defensemen in goals (9) and ranked second in points (19). Following the tournament loss, Nick signed an American Hockey League ATO with the Barracuda, leaving the Dutchmen for the AHL.

Despite arriving late in the 2016-17 Barracuda season and seeing only four regular season games, DeSimone quickly gained the trust of Barracuda head coach, Roy Sommer, and the entire Sharks organization.

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Barracuda Goaltending Duo Making Waves

by Nick Nollenberger / sjsharks.com

It is common knowledge around the hockey world that the San Jose Sharks have one of the best, if not the best, goaltending duos in the National Hockey League. Martin Jones is thought of throughout the league as a prototypical #1 goaltender and Aaron Dell has been equally impressive backing up Jones over his first three years in the league.

What may not be as well known is the fact that the Sharks have one of the best goaltending combos at the American League level as well. Through the first month of the season, Antoine Bibeau and Josef Korenar have combined for the AHL's best goals-against average (1.85) and save percentage (.935). In addition, the two have allowed a league-low 18 goals through nine games. That production between the pipes has propelled the Barracuda to a 7-1-0-1 mark, the best start in franchise history.

On Thursday, the AHL announced that Bibeau had been named the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month after allowing only nine goals on 149 shots in five starts (3-1-1) during October, lifting San Jose to the top of the Western Conference.

Tweet from @sjbarracuda: Congrats to #SJBarracuda goaltender Antoine Bibeau on being named the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month👏📝: https://t.co/a8Wo74NYET pic.twitter.com/QcZQgpwLvF

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AHL's Youngest Team Exceeding Expectations

by Nick Nollenberger @NickNollen / sjsharks.com

In professional sports, it is often thought that experience is a necessity for success. So far, through two weeks, the San Jose Barracuda are busting that myth.

The Sharks AHL affiliate opened up their fourth season in San Jose on October 5 as the league's youngest team with an average age of 22.7-years old and a locker room comprised of 12 newcomers and 10 rookies. The Barracuda have exceeded and accelerated expectations with a franchise-best 4-0-0-1 start to the season and a league-high nine points through five games. In addition, San Jose ranks fifth in the league with 20 goals scored. An encouraging statistic for a club that netted a league-low 186 goals last year.

"It's been surprising a bit with such a young group, but they do a great job here (with the Sharks) getting the right people," said Barracuda captain John McCarthy. "A lot of the guys were captains of their junior teams and college teams and everyone has bought in quickly."

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Prospects Show Off Skills in 2018 Prospect Showcase

by Nicole Grazioli @sanjosesharks / sjsharks.com

SAN JOSE, CA -  The San Jose Sharks prospects wrapped up a week at development camp with a scrimmage in front of nearly 5,000 hockey-starved fans at SAP Center. Here were some of the highights: 

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: It's hockey. In July. And it's underway! pic.twitter.com/yq4TDh7Wjq

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Who had Jacob Middleton for the first goal of the scrimmage? ��#SJSharks pic.twitter.com/WLyWQTjnb5

Tweet from @SanJoseSharks: Karlsson (Linus, not Melker) ties it up for Team Marchment right away!#SJSharks pic.twitter.com/aiaOeJGoON

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Camp Quotes: Maxim Letunov

by Ann Frazier / sjsharks.com

Camp Quotes: Maxim Letunov

Camp Quotes: Maxim Letunov

Check out San Jose Sharks prospect Maxim Letunov in this episode of Camp Quotes

  • 01:05 •

After spending three years at UConn, center Maxim Letunov is looking to make a statement in his first development camp as a pro. 

But that doesn't mean that it's his first camp. "I've been to five camps already, this is my fifth one," said Letunov. "Every year I take something new from each camp. I meet new guys and see new stretches and workouts and on-ice stuff."

Letunov, a center from Moskva, Russia, was originally drafted in the second round of the 2014 draft by the St. Louis Blues, before being traded to the Arizona Coyotes and then the San Jose Sharks. In 36 games with the NCAA's UConn Huskies this season, Letunov scored 12 goals and 16 assists in 36 games. 

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Camp Quotes: Ryan Merkley

by Casey Krygier / sjsharks.com

Camp Quotes: Ryan Merkley

Camp Quotes: Ryan Merkley

Check out San Jose Sharks prospect Ryan Merkley in this episode of Camp Quotes

  • 01:00 •

2018 first round draft pick Ryan Merkley makes his first trip to Sharks Development Camp. Deemed as a "high-risk, high-reward player, there is great anticipation for Merkley's camp performance.

"Learn and grow and get better," Merkley notes what he hopes to get out of the week in San Jose.

"I'm the youngest kid here so I just got to learn and get better and compete against the older guys." This is true for the 17-year-old defenseman from Oakville, Ontario.

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Camp Quotes: Jacob Middleton

by Casey Krygier / sjsharks.com

Camp Quotes: Jacob Middleton

Camp Quotes: Jacob Middleton

Check out San Jose Sharks prospect Jacob Middleton in this episode of Camp Quotes

  • 01:00 •

Hailing from Stratford, Ontario, Jacob Middleton is attending his third Sharks Development Camp. Middleton may be a familiar face to many as he played the past two season with the San Jose Barracuda.

Even if he's a veteran at camp there is still a lot to absorb. "You're given so much information you just try to take it all in, learn as much as you can," the six-foot-three defensemen stated.

Another key as a returning camp attendee is to make the newbies feel welcomed. Middleton said he wants to "Help the younger guys coming in whose first camp it is and make them feel comfortable."

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Camp Quotes: Jayden Halbgewachs

by Ann Frazier / sjsharks.com

Camp Quotes: Jayden Halbgewachs

Camp Quotes: Jayden Halbgewachs

Check out San Jose Sharks prospect Jayden Halbgewachs in this episode of Camp Quotes

  • 00:59 •

An undrafted free agent signed by the San Jose Sharks this season, Jayden Halbgewachs is looking to make an impression at his first Sharks Development Camp.

Halbgewachs, a forward out of Emerald Park, Saskatchewan, turned a lot of heads this season with his play with the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL. In 72 games this season, Halbgewachs scored 70 goals and 59 assists to lead scoring in all of the CHL (including the WHL, OHL, and QMJHL). 

Coming into camp, Halbgewachs said, "Each and every camp you go to you learn different things and learn more and more. I think it's just taking in all the knowledge you can and helping your game improve because of that."

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