- Editor's Note: Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.
Maybe it is a new day for the Sharks?
No, not because they opened the 2023 NHL preseason with a 5-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. The Sharks went 5-1-0 last preseason, for all the good that did them on the way to the fourth-worst record in the NHL.
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Instead, it’s more about a change of philosophy.
“Last couple of years, I think it was a little easy to get to the NHL,” Tomas Hertl said of the path from the Barracuda to the Sharks.
Hertl is referring, I believe, to the end of the Doug Wilson era. From 2019 to 2022, 29 Sharks made their NHL debuts. That was a league-high.
Of those 29, the only sure-fire NHL’er was Mario Ferraro. Nikolai Knyzhov, Noah Gregor, and Jeffrey Viel are right there too, with top prospects William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau waiting in the wings.