Could Mario Ferraro find himself becoming an everyday part of the San Jose Sharks line-up next season?
After reports surfaced that Radim Simek won’t likely be ready to play for the San Jose Sharks at the start of the season. Attention turned to 21-year-old prospect Mario Ferraro and his potential impact on the opening night roster.
The Sharks have given Ferraro a fair shake to earn minutes in the NHL. San Jose’s 2nd round pick in 2017 got penciled into 3 of their preseason games placing second on the team in overall ice-time trailing only Tim Heed.
It appears that Team Teal might have known all along that Simek wasn’t ready for the start of the season considering the amount of hockey their letting the prospect play during these preseason contest.
He’s definitely made a strong case for himself with his ability to transition the puck with relative ease using his skate speed and passing prowess. To go along with this the blueliner has a puck scorers mentality and isn’t afraid to play aggressively in the offensive zone to generate passing and shooting lanes.
There have been moments where he’s been caught out of position because of this type of assertiveness, nevertheless he makes up for it by getting back on defense using his hustle and strong edges.
All signs are pointing to Ferraro becoming an everyday fixture of this Sharks line-up. NBCSN Bay Area’s Chelena Goldman got an idea of what Coach Pete DeBoer is seeing from the defenseman’s performance throughout his time in camp.
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"“I think he’s getting used to the NHL pace and the size of the guys,” Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer said, going on to compliment Ferraro’s performance throughout training camp. “His competitiveness has always been off the charts. He’s ready to play every night and he brings a lot of good energy.”"
Ferraro has essentially guaranteed himself a spot on the roster opening night but is it possible that we see the young blueliner become an everyday skater on the Sharks for the entire 2019 – 2020 season?
Along with Simek’s injury timeline the Sharks also have to decide whether they will burn a year of Ferraro’s newly signed entry-level contract that he signed this off-season. They have 9 games to decide but judging by his level of play this preseason it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we see him becoming a permanent member of the big club.
Ferraro provides another puck moving presence on the blueline that fits right into the Sharks style of play. Stylistically adding Ferraro to the bench lets San Jose have 3 defenders who are capable of trekking the puck through all 3 zones while also providing an offensive spark. With Team Teal searching for answers on offense they’ll likely try anything to help boost their overall production without having to shed any of their assets.
Regardless of the where Ferraro ends up after Simek returns the kid obviously has a bright future within the organization. Now with just a week remaining of training camp festivities the Sharks have some tough decisions to make pertaining to the career trajectory of the left-handed blueliner.