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Gregor Says He’s Faster, Ferraro on Where He’s Improved, Noesen Misses Home



Welcome to Day 4 of San Jose Sharks’ training camp!

Today was camp’s first scrimmage — for many Sharks, their first NHL game-like action in nearly 10 months.

Joel Kellman and Mario Ferraro scored.

Before we get to today’s media availability, check out the debut of Kurtis Gabriel’s Pride Tape skates:

Great stuff! So who talked today?

Bob Boughner was, as usual, illuminating. He shared, without prompting, the possibility of Ferraro cracking the opening night top-four. He emphasized his desire that the San Jose Sharks’ “bottom-six” lines be speedy scoring threats. He also volunteered Ryan Merkley as a candidate for the Sharks’ — not the San Jose Barracuda’s — second power play unit. Finally, he offered camp’s first reports on prospects John Leonard and Sasha Chmelevski.

Boughner Impressed by Ferraro, Merkley, Leonard, Chmelevski

Later, Stefan Noesen talked about missing home, Ferraro pointed out where his game has grown, and Noah Gregor says he’s actually gotten faster.

Noesen Misses Home

On November 25, 2020, Leighton Blake Noesen was born. A little more than a month later, first-time father Stefan Noesen left his Texas home to join San Jose Sharks training camp in Arizona.

It wasn’t easy to leave and it’s even harder being far apart:

“I still haven’t quite come to terms that I actually have a daughter. She’s only about a month and a half,” Noesen said. “It’s new for me. It’s difficult for my wife [Aly]. Usually three or four Facetimes a day, just so I’m able to see her. I’m probably bugging her a little too much.”

Ferraro Growing Up Fast

Bob Boughner surprised us when he suggested that 22-year-old Mario Ferraro could play in San Jose’s top-four come opening night. It’s been presumed that Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Radim Simek would occupy those spots on the left side on Jan. 14.

What’s the biggest change that Ferraro has made in his game since last March?

“I focused on being more patient with the puck. Taking that extra-second to make the better play. I’ve done a lot of video re-watch, last year’s, even the UMass days. I have clips and footage from somebody who helps me out. I’ve been reviewing a lot of those areas.

“The big one is being aware of space. Just hanging onto pucks more and making the appropriate play.”

Ferraro has been paired mostly with fellow lefty Brinson Pasichnuk in camp. Like he did last season, the 2017 second-rounder is playing on his off-side.

But will he be moving up in the line-up and onto his natural side soon?

Gregor Faster & Stronger?

“Gregor especially has really stood out to me as a guy who’s bigger, stronger. He has that speed to his game.”

That’s what Boughner said about third-line center hopeful Noah Gregor yesterday.

Does Gregor agree with Boughner’s assessment, that he’s gained size and strength without losing any of his trademark speed?

“Yeah, definitely. With this long off-season, you have a ton of time to add strength. I tried to do my best to not lose my speed,” Gregor said. “I don’t think I lost anything. If anything, I think I might have gained a step.”

That’s music to San Jose’s ears, a stronger and faster Gregor. What else does Gregor need to do to transition back to center, after playing mostly wing with the Sharks last year?

“Just getting used to being that low guy in the zone,” the 22-year-old offered. “Faceoffs, just getting stronger and being better.”

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