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Sharks Prospect of the Week: Jayden Halbgewachs

by Nicola Karasik / sjsharks.com

Jayden Halbgewachs, 22, has been selected as the Sharks Prospect of the Week for the week of Oct. 7 after posting a goal and two assists in two games played for the San Jose Barracuda, the team's top development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL).

During the 2018-19 campaign, Halbgewachs collected 35 points (13g, 22a) with a +9 rating over 64 games for the Barracuda. He recorded points in his first four professional games (2g, 3a), finished second among Barracuda rookies in points (35), goals (13) and assists (22), and tied for second in power-play goals (2). 

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Sharks Prospect of the Week: Vladislav Kotkov

by Nicola Karasik / sjsharks.com

Vladislav Kotkov has been selected as the Sharks Prospect of the Week during the week of Sept. 30 after posting two goals for the Chicoutimi Saguenéens in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL).

Kotkov, 19, returned to the QMJHL from the Sharks' training camp last week, where he netted a pair of goals in the opening frame against Halifax on October 4 to lift the Saguenéens to a 4-1 win over the Mooseheads, earning himself 'First Star of the Game.' He has now logged three points (3g, 0a) on the season in just two games played.

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Prospect of the Week: Jonathan Dahlen

by Nicola Karasik / sjsharks.com

Jonathan Dahlen has been selected as the Sharks Prospect of the Week after posting a game-winning goal and four assists for Timrå IK in the Allsvenskan Swedish League during the week of September 23.

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Prospect of the Week: Jake McGrew

by Nicola Karasik / sjsharks.com

Jake McGrew (@McgrewJake) has been selected as the Sharks Prospect of the Week for the week of September 16 after posting four points in two games, including three goals (two of which were game-winning) and one assist.  

Last week, McGrew departed San Jose's training camp to rejoin Spokane in the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he lifted the Chiefs over the Kamloops Blazers to open their 2019-2020 WHL campaign with two goals in a 4-3 victory at Sandman Centre on Friday, September 20th. 

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Prospect Spotlight: John Leonard

by Gina Rodriguez / sjsharks.com

Prospect Spotlight | John Leonard

Prospect Spotlight | John Leonard

University of Massachusetts Amherst forward John Leonard is highlighted in the latest Prospect Spotlight

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John Leonard made a name for himself in his freshman season at University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) as a naturally gifted and offensively dominant forward. He led UMass in scoring, finishing the 2017-18 season with 28 points (13 goals and 15 assists) and tied for second all-time in goals by a freshman during the Minutemen's Hockey East era. Leonard was also named Hockey East Player of the Week and Hockey East Rookie during his first season. 

After a successful freshman year in the NCAA, the forward caught the eye of the San Jose Sharks organization. The franchise selected Leonard in the sixth round of the 2018 NHL Draft, with the 182nd overall pick.

The Sharks are no stranger to draft picks from UMass. San Jose drafted John's teammate, Mario Ferraro in the 2nd round, 49th overall of the 2017 Draft. Additionally, Leonard's selection made him the first UMass player to be drafted following his freshman season since current Sharks defenseman, Justin Braun was selected in 2007.

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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

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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

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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

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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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