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Shin Larsson: From Olympic Hero to Sharks Scout

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Sharks scouts Shin Larsson & Karel Masopust (courtesy: Larsson)

It’s a book about a boy who became a gnome that led scout Shin Larsson to the San Jose Sharks.

Growing up in Tokyo, Larsson’s mother was fascinated by Swedish novella The Wonderful Adventures of Nils. This fascination led her to study in Sweden, where she met Shin’s father.

Shin Larsson is now entering his 13th year as San Jose Sharks scout and fourth as Supervisor of European Scouting. In this role, he’s perhaps best known for helping to identify and recruit key European free agents Joonas Donskoi, Melker Karlsson, Marcus Sorensen, Joel Kellman, and Fredrik Handemark, to name a handful.

But as his unlikely origin story suggests — would Shin Larsson have fallen in love with hockey if he had grown up in Japan instead of Sweden? — Larsson is a lot more than just a San Jose Sharks scout.

He’s an Olympic hero. He was the general manager of a hockey team in China. He’s probably the first NHL scout of Asian heritage.

San Jose Hockey Now caught up with Larsson to trace a career arc that’s taken him through Leskands, Quebec, Tokyo, Nagano, France, Manchester, Tomakomai, Beijing, Atlanta, and finally, San Jose.

We also touched on the state of hockey in Japan, 22 years after Nagano, and a lesser-known Sharks prospect who’s really impressed him this season.

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