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Tonight’s Matchup: The Barracuda make their only visit to the Alamo City on Friday in the first of two meetings on the season against the San Antonio Rampage (St. Louis Blues). Last year, the Barracuda went 3-3-0-0 against the Rampage and 1-2-0-0 at AT&T Center. San Jose is 4-3-1-1 all-time at San Antonio. Since the Rampage began the year with a 4-0 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins, they have lost seven in a row and have been outscored 11-to-21. The Rampage are averaging a league-low 1.87 goals per game.
Divisional Shakeup: This offseason, both San Antonio and Texas moved from the AHL’s Pacific Division to the AHL’s Central Division with the addition of the league's 31st franchise, the Colorado Eagles. Prior to the Eagles joining the AHL, San Antonio had served as the primary affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche over the last three years.
Familiar Faces: Klim Kostin, Adam Musil, Sammy Blais, Chris Butler, and Ville Husso are the only holdovers from last years Rampage team. San Antonio’s 2018-19 squad is the AHL’s eighth oldest with an average age of 24.59 years old and is comprised of five rookies.
Letunov’s Loose: Originally a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, Maxim Letunov is off to a red-hot start to his pro career. Letunov has goals in back-to-back games and now co-leads the Barracuda in goals (4) and has four points (two goals, two assists) over his last two games. Letunov was traded to the Coyotes from the Blues in March of 2015 and then was shipped to the Sharks in a draft day trade with the Coyotes in 2016.
Fabulous Francis: On September 13, as a part of the Erik Karlsson trade, Francis Perron was acquired from the Ottawa Senators. Thus far, Perron leads the Barracuda in points (9), is T-first in goals (4), first in power-play goals (2), and is tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (1).
Hot Halbgewachs: Rookie forward Jayden Halbgewachs scored again on Sunday and now has goals in back-to-back games. The Emerald Park, Saskatoon native has points in all but one game this season for the Barracuda. The 21-year-old was signed by the Sharks as an undrafted free agent last December and earned CHL Top Scorer honors in 2017-18 after collecting 129 points (70 goals, 59 assists) in 72 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda opened up the 2018-19 season with 10 rookies and the AHL’s youngest roster, averaging 22.7 years old. Just 13 players on San Jose’s 25-man opening night roster skated for the Barracuda a season ago. In addition, just three players on the Barracuda’s current roster were drafted by the Sharks (John McCarthy, Manuel Wiederer, Jeremy Roy). The other 21 were either signed as free agents or acquired in a trade.
National Pride: Offseason signings of Vincent Praplan (Switzerland) and Lukas Radil (Czech Republic), along with the return of Captain John McCarthy (U.S), San Jose’s opening night roster was comprised of three different skaters who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.