San Jose Sharks Prospect Perspective: Blueliner Mario Ferraro

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 22: Massachusetts Minutemen defenseman Mario Ferraro (5) passes the puck across center ice. During the University of Massachusetts game against the Boston College Eagles on March 22, 2019 at TD Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MARCH 22: Massachusetts Minutemen defenseman Mario Ferraro (5) passes the puck across center ice. During the University of Massachusetts game against the Boston College Eagles on March 22, 2019 at TD Garden in Boston, MA. (Photo by Michael Tureski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Mario Ferraro’s perspective is part eight of a series that will be highlighting some of the prospects within the San Jose Sharks organization.

The San Jose Sharks selected Mario Ferraro at 49th overall in the 2nd round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft and now after finishing up in the NCAA he’s headed to the Bay Area to continue his development in Teal.

Following an impressive collegiate career at UMass where Ferraro collected 37 total points in 80 games as a “Minuteman”.  The 20-year-old will now be entering his first season in big leagues and will likely see plenty of ice time playing for the San Jose Barracuda.

The left-handed blueliner has shown throughout his time at UMass that he is extremely adaptable and is willing to slot into any role necessary for the team’s success. The former captain got consistently tasked with lofty defensive assignments and arduous, yet crucial minutes on the penalty kill. No matter what the situation called for the dynamic defenseman was up fully engaged in the play. All of this effort cultivated into a Frozen Four appearance where they ultimately lost to Minnesota Duluth in the title game.

Ferraro took a back seat to his former teammate and now Colorado Avalanche budding star Cale Makar. This allowed the coaching staff to maximize the capabilities of their offense, but likely at the expense of Ferraro’s developmental process (specially in the opponent’s end of the ice.)

Nevertheless, Ferraro is highly regarded for his offensive skill and ability to move the puck whether that be with his skates or using his vision to make smart passes.  A type of skater that many scouts on San Jose Sharks and the rest of league are looking for when it comes to drafting and developing defenseman of the future.

Some may argue that last year might of hurt his overall upside as a possible NHL player. However Ferraro will likely be facing all sorts of different scenario’s at the pro level and from the looks of the San Jose Barracuda depth chart we won’t be surprised if Ferraro sees big minutes with preferable zone starts early into the 2019 – 2020 season.

General Manager Doug Wilson and the San Jose Sharks scouting and developmental department also share similar sentiments about Mario. In a press release attached to the signing announcement Doug Wilson explained “His offensive skills, ability to make plays from the blueline and the energy he brings to the rink are impressive and we look forward to seeing him continue his growth at the professional level.”

The deal is a standard entry level contract that lasts 3 years and holds an AAV of 925,000, per CapFriendly. This will give former college standout some runway to help him get situated with adjusting to the pros, but with Ferraro’s high hockey IQ and offensive upside it we may see him take on some serious minutes on the Barracuda’s blueline.

Watching how Ferraro will mix with the other offensively talented prospects making their way up the Sharks farm system will be a can’t miss story line throughout 2019 – 2020. This group of skaters will give a big a boost to a team that relied heavily on defensive structure and limiting shot attempts to win games.

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Mario will get every opportunity to take advantage of his ice time next season so we will all find out very soon whether his performance last season hindered his progress as a hockey player once and for all.