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Scout Loves Strauss Mann Signing

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Credit: Strauss Mann

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Sheng Peng: It’s good news, bad news for the San Jose Sharks today.

Let’s start with the bad news.

This morning, Bob Boughner shut down Kevin Labanc for the season. Kevin had shoulder surgery in mid-December, and there were hopes that he could return earlier this month.

But Bob says, “It’s just been a longer rehab than they thought.”

Boughner didn’t officially shut down Adin Hill, but he said he’d be shocked if Hill returned this year.

Hill has been battling a lower-body injury, playing just one game over the last two months.

Let’s get to the good news. And it’s good San Jose Sharks goaltending news.

The Sharks announced the signing of Strauss Mann. Mann played in the SHL this past year and was also a US Olympian. Before that, he had a decorated career at the University of Michigan.

The 23-year-old Mann has gone undrafted and unsigned because of his size. He’s 6-foot-0, which isn’t that small of course, I’m 5-foot-8, but by NHL goaltending standards it is.

I spoke with an NHL scout outside of the San Jose Sharks organization who loves this signing.

He cited Evgeni Nabokov, Miikka Kiprusoff, and Vesa Toskala when talking about Mann. Now keep in mind that he wasn’t saying that Mann was any one of those Sharks legends.

But Nabokov and company were all around 6-foot-0 or under.

So this scout called signing Mann an old-school Sharks grab, prioritizing hockey sense and good feet over size in net.

The scout says Mann has high-end hockey sense, tracking, composure, and compete. High character. Quick and accurate in his movement. Got good hands. Beats plays on his feet.

This scout believes Mann will be an NHL goalie. I asked if he could be an NHL starter one day. He wouldn’t bet against him, saying, “He’s a hard guy to bet on…and a hard guy to bet against.”

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