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Preview/Lines #75: David Quinn Shares His Recruiting Pitch for College Free Agents Like Collin Graf



Credit: Rob Rasmussen,

David Quinn didn’t personally know Collin Graf before the San Jose Sharks signed the prized NCAA free agent.

In fact, Quinn says that there wasn’t anybody on the San Jose staff that knew Graf particularly well personally, which might be a surprise considering that Graf is a Massachusetts native.

Regardless, the Sharks were able to reel the Quinnipiac star in.

Sharks Sign Top College Free Agent

Quinn, Boston University head coach from 2013 to 2018, shared a little about their pitch to the high-scoring winger.

“I just try to be as honest with them as I can,” Quinn said of his recruiting approach, which included speaking with Graf. “In our conversations, we talked about the fact that nothing is guaranteed. The only thing I promise you is an opportunity. What you make of it is up to you. I don’t think you can reiterate that enough. “

It doesn’t sound like the San Jose Sharks promised Graf the stars and the moon.

“One thing we used to talk about, wherever I worked in college, was if anyone’s telling you you’re going to be on the first power play, the first line, run away,” Quinn shared. “We’ll never tell you that. Because you’re gonna have an opportunity to play in those situations, but that’s up to you, what you do when you get here.”

It makes sense, from a team-building perspective. You don’t want players who want everything handed to them.

“The people that want to hear the other part of it,” Quinn said, “you don’t want them anyway.”

It sounds like the Sharks lay out a realistic NHL roadmap for an NCAA free agent – and then, it’s up to the prospect to meet the markers. Harvard alum Henry Thrun, who was about to become a free agent before the Sharks signed him near the end of last season, is probably an apt example.

“During the process of trying to get him here, we had a couple of conversations,” Quinn said. “The organization’s done a great job of laying out an opportunity for people. I think we’ve proven that.”

It’s a three-year plan, in concert with the length of an entry-level contract.

“You get one window,” Quinn said. “Your career can end quickly. You get three years, really. He’s got a great opportunity here.”

San Jose Sharks (17-49-8)

Mackenzie Blackwood will start.

Jack Studnicka will make his return to the Sharks’ line-up, between Thomas Bordeleau and Filip Zadina.

Luke Kunin will stay up the middle, presumably between William Eklund and Justin Bailey.

Nico Sturm will center Kevin Labanc and Mike Hoffman.

For Sturm, Quinn emphasized this wasn’t any kind of demotion. It’s probably just as simple as seeing what Studnicka can do as a third-line center.

Ryan Carpenter, Givani Smith, and Jacob MacDonald will sit out.

Los Angeles Kings (39-25-11)

Where to Watch

Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings is 7:30 PM at SAP Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.


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