A season in review: The 2016-17 San Jose Barracuda

Jun 1, 2017

The 2016-17 San Jose Barracuda season produced an unprecedented amount of success for a San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate which resulted in the Barracuda reaching the Western Conference Finals in just its second year of existence.

Award season:

- Western Conference regular season champions (Bud Poile Trophy)

- Pacific Division regular season champions (John Chick Trophy)

- Coach of the year - Roy Sommer (Louis A.R. Pieri Award)

- Goaltender of the year - Troy Grosenick (Aldege "Baz" Bastien Award)

- Rookie of the year - Daniel O'Regan (Dudley "Red" Garrett)

Hey now, you’re an All-Star: Troy Grosenick became the first Barracuda netminder, and Danny O’Regan became the first Barracuda rookie to be named to the AHL mid-season All-Star team representing San Jose in Lehigh Valley on January 29-30. Grosenick was also the first Barracuda player to become an AHL First Team All-Star, and Tim Heed became the organization's first Second Team AHL All-Star.

Sommer time: After becoming the AHL’s all-time leader in wins (current total: 691) on February 10, 2016, Roy Sommer turned in arguably his best coaching job during his 19 seasons behind the bench of the San Jose Sharks top developmental affiliate. Sommer led one of the league’s youngest rosters (Av Age: 23.54) to the AHL’s second best record 43-16-4-5 (.699) and made the first Conference Finals appearance of his career. Sommer was awarded his first A. R. Pieri Memorial Award as the AHL’s outstanding coach for his accomplishments during the 2016-17 season.

Age is just a number: Before a deadline deal in January in which the San Jose Barracuda acquired 26-year-old forward Buddy Robinson and 31-year-old forward Zack Stortini from the Binghamton Senators (AHL), the Barracuda were the AHL’s youngest team. With the signing of undrafted junior and collegiate players, San Jose finished the season with the league's second youngest roster only in front of the Manitoba Moose (23.52). San Jose ended the season with 12 rookies, four second-year players, and four non-rookie first-year American Hockey Leaguers.

Best of the West: The San Jose Barracuda finished the regular season with the Western Conferences best winning percentage (43-16-4-5= .699), only behind the East’s Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (51-20-3-2= .704). San Jose also finished with the AHL's best home winning percentage (24-6-2-2= .765) and the league's fourth-best road winning percentage (19-10-2-3= .632).

Let’s go streaking: The San Jose Barracuda put together the AHL’s longest winning streak of the 2016-17 season at 14 consecutive games from January 25 to February 26 and also set the Leagues high-water mark for consecutive points at 15 from January 25 to March 1.

New Edition(s): On January 24, the San Jose Sharks shipped fourth-line forward Tommy Wingels to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a seventh-round pick and American Leaguers Zack Stortini and Buddy Robinson. The new additions not only added more veteran leadership and experience to the league's most inexperienced team but it also included high-end skill in Robinson mixed with grit and toughness in Stortini.  The Barracuda reeled off 13-straight wins after the trade.

Power move: The San Jose Barracuda finished the regular season with the League’s second-best power play (23.8%) with rookie Danny O’Regan pacing the team with 11 goals on the man-advantage.

Hey shorty: The San Jose Barracuda ranked eighth during the regular season on the penalty kill (83.7%) and T-first with 14 shorthanded goals. Barclay Goodrow led SJ and tied for the league lead in short-handed tallies (4).

Showtime: Nine players (Nikolay Goldobin*, Marcus Sorensen, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Labanc, Danny O’Regan, Mirco Mueller and Tim Heed) appeared in at least one game for the both the Barracuda and Sharks during the 2016-17 season. Two players, (Marcus Sorensen and Timo Meier) played in games for both the Sharks and Barracuda during the playoffs.

Tremendous Troy: Named a First Team AHL All-Star and the Aldege ‘Baz’ Bastien Memorial Award winner as the AHL’s most outstanding goaltender during the 2016-17, Grosenick went 30-10-5 in 49 appearances for the Barracuda this season, ranking second in the league in wins (30), third in goals-against average (2.04) and second in save percentage (.930). He also becomes just the fifth goaltender in AHL history to reach double digits in shutouts in a single season (10), and he put together a scoreless stretch of more than 248 minutes from Nov. 19 to Dec. 18. Grosenick went 17-0-1 from Jan. 25 to Mar. 18 – leading a second-half surge that pushed San Jose to the Pacific Division title and the best record in the Western Conference.

Mac and cheese: Named the team's Most Inspirational Player (voted by teammates), veteran forward John McCarthy captained the Barracuda to the franchise's best season to date, while turning in his second most productive season of this career, totaling 33 points (19 goals, 14 assists) and finished T-second on the team in shorthanded goals (2). McCarthy signed a one-year deal in March and will return for his ninth professional season in 2017-18.

Marcs-man: In his first year in North America, Barracuda forward Marcus Sorensen quickly became one of the Sharks top prospects. The 25-year-old totaled 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) in 43 AHL games played and earned his first recall after recording a franchise record 10-game point streak with the Barracuda from January 16 to February 25. Sorensen recorded four points (1 goal, 3 assists) in 19 games played for the San Jose Sharks and added two points (1 goal, 1 assist) in six Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Too good: Third-year pro Barclay Goodrow turned in a career season in 2016-17, setting a Barracuda franchise and personal record with 25 goals. Goodrow finished the regular season fourth on the Barracuda with 45 points (25 goals, 20 assists), T-third in power play goals (6) and first in short-handed goals (4).

Timo time: Sharks 2015 first round pick (9th overall), Timo Meier gained some valuable experience at both the NHL and AHL level in his rookie campaign. Meier accumulated 23 points (14 goals, 9 assists) with the Barracuda in 33 games and appeared in 34 NHL games with the Sharks, registering six points (3 goals, 3 assists). Meier finished seventh on the Barracuda in points during the playoffs (4 goals, 3 assists) and T-first in game-winning goals (2).

Carpe diem: The Barracuda’s postseason hero, Ryan Carpenter, opened eyes throughout the Sharks organization in 2016-17 and earned 11 games with the big club during the regular season, notching his first four NHL points (2 goals, 2 assists). Through three rounds in the Calder Cup playoffs, the third-year pro finished second in the AHL in points (9 goals, 8 assists), T-first in goals, T-third in power play goals (3) and T-first in game-winning goals (2).

Danny O!: The Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award winner for the AHL’s outstanding rookie, Danny O’Regan paced the Barracuda all season long. O’Regan led all AHL rookies in scoring with 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists) while skating in 63 games for the Barracuda. The leading point-getter for the team with the AHL’s top-ranked offense, O’Regan notched 11 power-play goals, recorded five game-winning tallies, and has a plus/minus rating of plus-6 while totaling just 10 minutes in penalties all season. O’Regan scored a goal in his pro debut on opening night and went on to record 11 points in his first 10 games to earn his first NHL recall, making his debut with the parent Sharks on Nov. 21. He later represented the Barracuda at the 2017 AHL All-Star Classic, scoring three goals for the Pacific Division in the round-robin All-Star Challenge.

Lethal combo: Arguably the AHL’s top defensive pairing, Joakim Ryan, and Tim Heed were dominant for the Barracuda in 2016-17, combining for 105 points (24 goals, 81 assists) and a plus-41 rating. Heed, in his first year in North America, proved why he was the Swedish Hockey Leagues defenseman of the year in 2015 and was a vital component to the AHL’s second-ranked power play. Joakim Ryan, in his second year as a pro, improved his rookie totals by eight goals and 13 assists and was the quarterback for San Jose on the man-advantage.

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