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Tonight’s Matchup: After impressive wins for both San Jose and Bakersfield on Friday, the Barracuda and Condors connect on Saturday for the first of 10 meetings in 2018-19. A season ago, the ‘Cuda went 6-3-0-1 against the Oilers affiliate and 2-3-0-0 at Rabobank Arena.
Familiar Face: After failing to make the playoffs in all three years of its existence, the Edmonton Oilers relieved Gerry Flemming of his duties and appointed former Sharks and Oiler’ assistant Jay Woodcroft as the head coach of the Bakersfield Condors this offseason. Woodcroft was an assistant under Todd McLellan with the San Jose Sharks for seven years before following McLellan to Edmonton the last three seasons.
Rookie Arrival: Dylan Gambrell collected three points (two goals, one assist) in the first 16 minutes of Friday’s 4-1 win over the Reign. The rookie forward appeared in three games with the Sharks last season after the conclusion of his junior year at the Denver University where he won a National Championship in 2017. He’s impressive AHL debut earned him first star honors.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda opened up the 2018-19 season as the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.7 years old, which is comprised of 10 rookies. 13 players on San Jose’s 25-man opening night roster skated in at least one game for San Jose a year ago.
BIG trade: On June 14, Sharks GM Doug Wilson traded forward Adam Helewka to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for 6-5, 235-pound defenseman Kyle Wood. Two seasons ago, Wood was named to the AHL All-Rookie team after collecting 43 points (14 goals, 29 assists) from the blueline. Wood collected a pair of assists in Friday’s 4-1 win over Ontario.
National Pride: With the offseason signings of Vincent Praplan (Switzerland) and Lukas Radil (Czech Republic), along with the return of Captain John McCarthy, San Jose’s opening night roster will be comprised of three different skaters who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.