San Jose, Ca – The San Jose Barracuda (@SJBarracuda), proud AHL (@TheAHL) affiliate of the San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks), announced today that Jaycob Megna has been named the third captain in franchise history. Along with Megna, Jeffrey Viel (@jeffviel_27), Nick DeSimone (@njdes), Antti Suomela (@SuomelaAntti) and Alexander True (@TheTrueAlex97) will each serve as alternate captains.
“Jaycob has been a captain in this league before and from the first day of training camp he’s taken on that role,” said Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer. “He made our decision pretty easy. We’ve got a young group, but we’re really excited about our leadership that’s in place.”
Megna, 28, enters his seventh professional season in 2020-21 and first with the Barracuda. The six-foot-six, 220-pound defenseman was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the 2012 NHL Draft (seventh round, 210th overall). Last season, Megna served as an assistant captain with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves, where he was coached by current Sharks associate coach Rocky Thompson. Two years ago, the Plantation, Florida, native split the season between the Ducks and their AHL affiliate the San Diego Gulls, where he was the team’s captain in San Diego.
In his career, Megna has skated in 43 NHL games, all with Anaheim, totaling five points (one goal, four assists), 40 penalty minutes, and a plus-12 rating. In addition, he’s played in 310 AHL games between Norfolk, San Diego, and Chicago, collecting 79 points (13 goals, 66 assists), 142 penalty minutes, and a plus-73 rating.
Viel, 24, enters his third year of professional hockey in 2020-21. Over his first two seasons, both in San Jose, the Rimouski, Quebec, Canada, native has recorded 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists), 197 penalty minutes, and a minus-20 rating in 122 AHL contests. Last season, the six-foot-one, 201-pound forward served as one of the team’s four alternate captains and finished eighth overall in the AHL in penalty minutes (108). The undrafted free-agent captured a Memorial Cup Championship as the captain of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan (QMJHL) in 2017-18. During that playoff run, he earned QMJHL Playoff MVP (Guy Lafleur Trophy) honors after posting 23 points (14 goals, nine assists), 34 penalty minutes, and a plus-nine rating in 20 playoff games.
DeSimone, 26, enters his fourth pro campaign in 2020-21, all with the Barracuda. Last year, the East Amherst, New York, native served as an alternate captain for San Jose. In his career, DeSimone has dressed in 176 AHL games, accumulating 86 points (26 goals, 60 assists), 59 penalty minutes, and six power-play goals. The six-foot-two, 195-pound undrafted blueliner played three seasons at Union College before signing with the Sharks in 2017.
True, 23, enters his fourth season within the Sharks organization in 2020-21 after playing three years in the WHL with the Seattle Thunderbirds. A season ago, the undrafted native of Copenhagen, Denmark, appeared in his first 12 games with the Sharks, posting four assists, two penalty minutes, and a plus-one rating. In his career, the six-foot-five, 200-pound center-man has appeared in 176 games in the AHL, recording 108 points (50 goals, 58 assists), 92 penalty minutes, and a plus-four rating.
Suomela, 26, enters his third season with the Sharks organization in 2020-21. A season ago, Suomela appeared in 20 games with the Sharks, posting seven points (one goal, six assists), four penalty minutes and a plus-four rating. In addition, the Espoo, Finland, native skated in 14 games with the Barracuda, scoring nine points (five goals, four assists), six penalty minutes, and an even rating. In total, the six-foot, 180-pound undrafted center has appeared in 47 career NHL games, all with San Jose, totaling 15 points (four goals, 11 assists), eight penalty minutes, and a plus-five rating. In 2017-18, the season before coming to North America, Suomela was a Liiga (Finland) Champion, Liiga All-Star, and the league's scoring champion (21 goals, 39 assists) with JYP.
Previous Barracuda captains include: Bryan Lerg (2015-16) and John McCarthy (2016-2020).
The Barracuda open the 2020-21 season at Tucson on Sunday at 11 a.m. PT. Watch the game at AHLTV.com and listen on the Sharks Audio Network via The Sharks+SAP Center app and at SJSharks.com/listen and SJBarracuda.com/listen.