Apr 26, 2022

That’s a wrap. The 2021-22 season officially came to a close in Henderson on Saturday night as the Barracuda were dealt a 5-2 loss to the Silver Knights.


I can remember looking at our roster back in October and thinking we were going to have a really strong team, one that could compete for the division. That was dashed relatively quickly as the club never quite found its footing. Injuries, COVID/taxi squad, trades, recalls, were all factors. In total, 19 different players appeared in games with the both the Sharks and the Barracuda, and 52 players were used (franchise record) at various points by head coach Roy Sommer. Of the 52, 29 were considered AHL rookies (franchise record) as the Barracuda averaged the youngest roster in the league (23.65). Of the 19 players who appeared in the first game of the year at Bakersfield on Oct. 17, just six were still on the Barracuda roster at the end of the year, and none of the club's leadership group remained (Jaycob Megna - Sharks, Mark Alt - Rochester Americans, and Dylan Gambrell - Ottawa Senators).


Although the season ended with the team dropping its final 15 games, we saw a glimpse into a bright future with the pro debuts of Thomas Bordeleau, Daniil Gushchin and Gannon Laroque down the final stretch of the year. Bordeleau has already endeared himself to Sharks fans forever with his shootout theatrics in Vegas on Sunday.


Gushchin, should begin next year in the AHL, although technically he still has a year of junior eligibility remaining. Laroque is too young to play in the American League next season, so he will go back to the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he should be one of the league’s top players. The teenager was just named the BC Division Defenseman of the Year last week and was also named a First-Team BC Division All-Star.


Although the Barracuda will not be participating, all seven Pacific Division playoff spots have been secured, with Stockton locking up the top seed in the Pac, meaning they will get a first-round bye. It is still a three-team race for the third spot in the division between Abbotsford, Bakersfield, and Colorado. The Canucks and Condors are the most likely representatives of the third spot since Colorado has no more games. The Canucks have three games left, while the Condors are down to two. The two clubs will face off tonight (Tuesday) in Bakersfield. Abbotsford is the hottest team in the league and is riding a nine-game point streak (8-0-1).


A big congrats is in order for Brandon Coe who was named the 2021-22 ‘Sharks Prospect of the Year’. Because of COVID-19, he spent the entire year with the Barracuda in 2020-21. That experience playing against men and being immersed in the pro environment, certainly made returning to junior an simpilar process.


The 20-year-old forward dominated the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) for the North Bay Battalion, smashing previous career-highs in every major offensive category. He scored 101 points, good for fifth most among OHL skaters, and lead North Bay in assists and points. The forward, often lining up on the right wing, helped North Bay finish with the third best offense scoring 267 total goals and fourth best power play in the OHL, which clipped at a 25.9% rate. He directly factored in on 36 of the Battalion's 60 power-play goals, scoring eight goals and collecting 28 assists on the man-advantage.


Coe and the Batalion are still in the OHL playoffs and currently have a 3-0 series lead on the Ottawa 67’s. Coe already has seven points (3+4=7) in the first three games.


Important Upcoming Dates:


NHL free-agency period begin at noon ET on July 3, 2022


2022 NHL Entry Draft July 7-8, 2022 (Bell Centre in Montreal)


2022 Development Camp (date pending)


Rookie Faceoff Sept. 16-19, 2022 (Tech CU Arena)


Barracuda Home Opener Oct. 22, 2022 (Tech CU Arena)


That’ll do it for this week’s edition of Nolly’s Notes. Moving forward, I will be penning a new blog every other week during the summer, opposed to every week. Thank you to everyone who read and supported. Talk to you all soon and so long until next time.


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