Mike Grier

Grier's prospect philosophy on display in Sharks' preseason win

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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.

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.

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