I was just as surprised as anybody when San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner declared Mario Ferraro a top-four defenseman on Day Four of training camp.
“I wouldn’t be surprised, opening night, puck drop, that he’s not sitting in our top-four if he keeps progressing in camp,” the San Jose Sharks head coach declared.
I was just as surprised as anybody when Ferraro was asked, in addition to top-four minutes, to quarterback San Jose’s second-unit power play on opening night.
It’s no disrespect to Ferraro – it just seemed like a lot of responsibility to place on the shoulders of a 22-year-old sophomore blueliner. But 11 games into the season, Ferraro has not only carried the weight, he’s added more. Over the weekend in Anaheim, Ferraro surpassed 25 minutes played in a game, a career first.
He did it in back-to-back games and it won’t be the last time.
With Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s continued decline, Ferraro has become, for all intents and purposes, not just a Sharks’ top-four defenseman, but their undisputed No. 3 blueliner.
And it’s not just his defensive prowess that has secured his status. His season-opening inclusion on the power play was a sign of things to come offensively.
Ferraro flashed some of that offensive growth in last night’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Kings.
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