SAN JOSE—On Thursday, July 6, the San Jose Sharks gathered their top prospects for the 2017-2018 season at the SAP Center and divided them into two teams. Each was led by former Sharks players Mike Ricci and Bryan Marchment. Team Ricci decked out in teal, Team Marchment in white.
Starting on Team Ricci were forwards Filip Sandberg, Alexander True, and Rudolfs Balcers, defensemen Cavan Fitzgerald and Julius Bergman, and goaltender Peyton Jones. Forwards Timo Meier, Dylan Gambrell, and Adam Helewka, defensemen Mario Ferraro and Jeremy Roy, and goaltender Gabriel Mollot-Hill started for Team Marchment. After three 15 minute periods, followed by a five-minute overtime, and a shootout, Team Ricci (teal) took home a 7-4 win.
Following the match, Canyon News spoke with prospects Scott Reedy, 18, Josh Norris, 18, Sean Dhooghe, 18, and Manuel Wiederer, 20.
Canyon News: How does it feel to be a top prospect?
Reedy: It feels great; there’s a lot that goes into it, a lot of training. It’s not just me, it’s my family too. There are a lot of people putting in work to help me out, and it feels great to be at this point.
Norris: It’s not really any different than other guys here; we’re all in the same spot, working toward the same thing. We’re all working hard, and it’s nice to get to know some of the guys here.
Dhooghe: It’s unbelievable; everyone here has been great. Playing with/against players on each [scrimmage] team has been fantastic. A lot of competition, and it feels good.
Wiederer: It feels pretty good. There are a lot of good prospects; everyone has a reason to be here. There are a lot of good players, and it has been a great camp so far.
CN: Which Sharks player(s) do you aspire to be like?
Reedy: Jumbo Joe [Thornton] has a lot of hockey IQ. He’s been in the league for a very long time, definitely a guy to look up to, and also Joe Pavelski. He does a lot to change his game every year, and he’s great at tipping pucks around the ice, and other than that he’s a great team player.
Dhooghe: These last two years I’ve focused on Joe Pavelski, getting into the greasy areas and getting in front of the net. He’s not the biggest guy out there either (Dhooge stands at five feet three inches), but he still finds is way in the corners and in front of the net.
Wiederer: Joe Pavelski. He was a late draft pick, and now he is one of the best players in the League and good on both ends of the ice. A hard competitor and a very good player!
CN: What excites you most about being on the West Coast?
Norris: It’s my first time out here, so I didn’t know too much about what to expect, but obviously I knew it was a nice area. It’s pretty close to the water, so I think when we have some time off I am going to go check out some sites and go to the ocean.
Dhooghe: The chance to come to this camp. I can’t thank the Sharks enough for giving me the opportunity.
Wiederer: The weather is very nice. In Germany, everyone sees California as a place you can go on vacation, and I am going to live here, hopefully!
CN: Do you set any goals for yourself at the beginning of each season?
Reedy: I think it starts with the team; you definitely have to look at your team, where you want to be with them, and then personally have some goals as to where you want to see yourself at the end of the season and how you will get there.
Dhooghe: I don’t try and set my expectations too high, but I do set goals to play my game, focus on what the coach wants, find ways to get pucks to the net, and produce how I should be.
CN: What excites you most about the Sharks fan base?
Norris: They seem to have a really good fan base here; there was a pretty big crowd here for the prospects game. We appreciate them coming out and giving us some support, so I’m really excited for the future here.
Dhooghe: Everything. They were great tonight; it was great hearing my name called. There is a lot of support from them which is amazing.
Wiederer: California is not known as a big hockey state, but I have heard the SAP Center is one of the loudest rinks in the League.
CN: Any message for Sharks fans?
Reedy: We’ve got a lot of great young talent, be ready for some years to come!
Norris: I am very excited to play here and get to know the fans!
Dhooghe: I just have to say thanks. Thank you for believing in me.
Wiederer: Keep supporting the Sharks! I think we have a good team and bright future, and hopefully there will be a Cup win soon!