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Ozzy Wiesblatt’s No. 1 Goal Next Year: “Make the Sharks.”



Credit: Henderson Silver Knights

Ozzy Wiesblatt has the NHL on his mind.

The San Jose Sharks’ 2020 first-round draft pick did not hesitate when asked about his goals for next season.

“I want to make the Sharks, a hundred percent,” Wiesblatt told the Locked On Sharks podcast Monday.

Wiesblatt already made his professional debut at the age of 18, with the Barracuda Feb. 7. He played in the Barracuda’s first three games of the season while waiting for the WHL season to begin. He scored his first pro goal Feb. 12 in the midst of a crazy, storm-filled trip to Texas.

“I was happy with how I played … with the Cuda at the start of the year,” Wiesblatt said. “Going into the [WHL] season, I had lots of confidence and I wanted to be ‘the guy’ this year. Just drive my team.”

Returning to the Prince Albert Raiders in March, Wiesblatt did just that. He led the Raiders in points with seven goals and 21 assists despite missing one game due to injury. The Calgary native was only kept off the scoresheet for six of 23 games and ended the season on a seven-game point streak.

Now back in San Jose, Wiesblatt has limited time to make strides at the professional level this year. However, the 19-year-old knows off-season training is equally, if not more, important.

“It’s important for me to have a big summer,” Wiesblatt said. “I know I need to work on a lot of things and sharpen it up to be an NHL player. But it all depends on the summer I have, how hard I train, and how much I’m willing to put in. My number-one goal is to make the Sharks and then go from there.”

If Wiesblatt achieves this goal, he would be the first San Jose Sharks first-rounder to make his NHL debut the season after being drafted since Timo Meier. Meier, the 2015 entry draft’s ninth overall pick, made his San Jose Sharks debut Dec. 2016.

Wiesblatt got a tease of the NHL in his most recent game against the Henderson Silver Knights on May 5. In front of a crowd of 3,830 at T-Mobile Arena, the Golden Knights’ venue, Wiesblatt recorded his first professional assist and power play goal.

“I haven’t played in front of a crowd like that in a while,” Wiesblatt said. “It was super loud in there too. It definitely helped with getting my legs under me.”

With a rematch against Henderson Tuesday and Pacific Division playoffs next week, Wiesblatt and the Barracuda will play at least two more games this season.

When asked about what he’s looking to improve, Wiesblatt replied “a little bit of everything.”

“I want to get better at just shooting the puck a little bit more,” Wiesblatt said. “I get a lot of chances where I put myself in a great opportunity, and I choose to pass most of the time. Getting a little bit more of a shoot-first mentality I think will only help me.”

One thing Wiesblatt said he hasn’t lacked? Excitement.

“I’ve been able to get super-excited for every single game I’ve played so far here,” Wiesblatt said. “Being so young and being so close to what I want to do in my career, every game is pretty easy to get up for. I’m just trying to play every game like it’s my last and give it my all.”

Check out the full Ozzy Wiesblatt interview with Brian Truong and Locked on Sharks at San Jose Hockey Now on Tuesday.

Wiesblatt, Letunov Each Add 2 Points in Loss

The Barracuda (15-14-4-2) lost 5-3 to the division-leading Henderson Silver Knights (23-12-0-0) Saturday afternoon.

Just five minutes into the game, Wiesblatt whipped a pass between Henderson defenders to Scott Reedy, who scored from close range for his fifth of the season.

Henderson responded with three straight goals to take the lead.

In the second period, Maxim Letunov scored after Ryan Merkley’s shot was blocked. Brandon Coe also earned an assist on Letunov’s 12th goal of the season, tying Joachim Blichfeld’s season total to lead the Barracuda.

After Oscar Dansk made six straight saves on a Barracuda 5-on-3 power play, Wiesblatt outwaited the Henderson goalie and snapped in a top corner shot for his second point of the game.

“[Jayden Halbgewachs] kind of fanned on the one-timer and I didn’t really feel anybody pressuring me, so I kinda just walked out, took my time, and lucky enough it went in,” Wiesblatt said.

Jayden Halbgewachs and Letunov earned assists on Wiesblatt’s second AHL goal. Halbgewachs has seven points in seven games since returning from a hip injury.

Henderson ended San Jose’s late push with an empty net goal for the 5-3 win. Zach Sawchenko made 35 saves in his first start since Apr. 11.

The Barracuda will end their regular season against the Silver Knights at The Orleans Arena Tuesday at 7 PM.

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