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Sharks Goalie Prospect Christian Kirsch Gives Candid Assessment of Mackenzie Blackwood

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The San Jose Sharks got the best goalie on their board.

Christian Kirsch, selected by Mike Grier with the 116th pick of the fourth round, had a 2.32 goals-against average in 30 games with Zug U20 of the Swiss Elit league. In his five games with Switzerland at the U18 World Championships, he put up an .872 Save %.

San Jose Sharks director of amateur scouting Chris Morehouse said that Kirsch was the No. 1 goalie on their list.

Also, San Jose Barracuda head coach John McCarthy shouted out Kirsch’s prospects scrimmage performance at the end of Thursday’s development camp.

Next season, the 18-year-old will transition to North America and play for the USHL’s Green Bay Gamblers before joining the University of Massachusetts for the 2025-26 season.

In his availability after the draft, Kirsch shared his feelings on being drafted, his main strengths, and a candid assessment of Sharks’ goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood.

Kirsch, on his feelings after being drafted:

Yeah, I think it was a huge relief. It’s awesome. The Sharks are [an] awesome team. So, that was a great moment. Really excited.

Kirsch, on if he watched fellow Swiss player Timo Meier and the San Jose Sharks:

Not really, to be honest. I always loved the logo as well, the colors of the team, obviously Timo Meier is one of the best Swiss players played there. So I watched him quite a lot, but maybe not the main team because I don’t think they really had the best goalies until Blackwood was there. I do think he’s an awesome, so I do watch him quite a lot.

Kirsch, on Blackwood’s playstyle:

Just the way he moves, it looks so smooth. He’s so flexible, and I think he’s so good at everything. I think as soon as he has better guys in front of him, better defenders [to] help him a bit more, it’s gonna be an awesome team.

Kirsch, on his main strengths:

My skating. My skating, my feet [are] really good. It just helps me move around the crease really quick because I’m an explosive skater who can control his big body. I think a lot of big goalies, they’re more like blockers, can’t skate that well. So, that really helps as well.

Kirsch, on when he started playing goalie:

When I was seven. I loved the gear; you look like a Transformer. When you’re small, you look huge… It was really the gear that got me to the position.

Kirsch on his experience on smaller North American ice and the adjustments he will need to make:

We played a few tournaments over there. I practiced a few times with Green Bay. They had a camp there, where we played games. So, I do have experience with it, but it’s a change. Bigger ice is a bit slower. You get used to it.

It’s the angles, the speed. Everything just happens a bit faster than the bigger ice. There’s more high-quality chances, the shots come more from inside the boards. Everything’s closer.

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jamnjon

RIP Capfriendly. Officially gone as of about 2 hours ago.

Rothgar

it’s replacement Puckpedia is a far cry from Capfriendly. In fact, it’s crap & mostly unusable

jrauh

“The Sharks are [an] awesome team.” Easy there Sparky. I wish we could remove the words “awesome” and “amazing” from our vocabulary for the next two years and we wouldn’t sound so silly and/or ignorant. SMH. 

Last edited 7 days ago by jrauh
jrauh

But it’s true for all you negative raters out there! People need to find the appropriate words for the situations in front of them. The Sharks are headed in the right direction, but
“awesome” is not the state they are in!

David Gotlieb

You can be an awesome team while not being a currently winning one. This is why we have a Director of Vibes

jamnjon

Dickinson’s ELC has been signed.

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