LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Tonight’s Matchup: On Wednesday, the Barracuda conclude their eight-game season series with the San Diego Gulls. San Jose is 3-3-1-0 against the Anaheim Ducks affiliate this season and 12-12-3-2 all-time.
New Guys: On Tuesday, the Sharks signed Sasha Chmelevski to a standard entry-level deal, and the Barracuda added Ivan Chekhovich on an amateur tryout agreement. Both forwards were Sharks draft selections in last springs NHL draft. Chmelevski is set to become the first California native to play a game for the San Jose Barracuda since their inception in 2015. In a corresponding move, the Barracuda released forwards Sam Warning and Caleb Herbert from their pro tryouts.
Powering Up: On Saturday, the Barracuda lit the lamp on the man-advantage for the fifth-straight game. In March, the Barracuda went 12-for-55 (22%) on the PP and are eight-for-23 (35%) in their last five games. Since March 1, San Jose has moved from 30th on the power play to T-22nd in the AHL.
The Truth: Rookie forward Alex True tipped in his team-leading seventh power-play goal on Friday at Grand Rapids and now ranks second on the Barracuda in goals (12). True signed an AHL contract after being invited to the Sharks Development Camp this past July. Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer coached Alex’s dad, Soren, during the 1990-91 season as a member the IHL’s Albany Choppers.
Youth Movement: With an average age of 22.78 years old, San Jose is the AHL’s second youngest team in the league only behind the San Antonio Rampage who average 22.76-years-old. 13 of San Jose’s 27 players on their roster are AHL rookies.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!: Among rookies, Rudolfs Balcers ranks ninth in the AHL in points (41), T-14th in goals (18), and T-13th in assists (23). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, goals, and points-per-game (.68), and is second in assists and power-play goals.
Sommer-Time: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected the 700th AHL win of his career on Dec. 3 at Bakersfield (2-1). Sommer is the first coach in the 82-year history of the American Hockey League to reach 700 coaching wins. In 2015-16, Sommer surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook as the AHL’s all-time leader in wins and collected his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17. Sommer, who’s in his AHL record 20th season behind the bench for the top affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, coached his 1,500th game in the AHL on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson. During his playing career, Sommer played nine games with the IHL’s Grand Rapids Owls during the 1979-80 season.