| Sharks sign three
Bernier heads trio of 2003
2/28/05 - By Mike Lee
unrestricted free agency free for all just around the corner, the Sharks
addressed some of their future on Thursday with three prospect signings. San
Jose inked Steve Bernier, Josh Hennessy and Patrick Ehelechner, all 2003 draft
picks, to contracts. Bernier, the Sharks first-round pick that year, was signed
to a three year deal.
Bernier spent last season in the QMJHL, playing
for Moncton, where he led the team in goals, assists and points. The
six-foot-two, 223-pound Quebec City, was also an invitee to the 2004 Canadian
National Junior Team Development Camp.
"Steve has shown improvement in
many areas of his game the past two seasons," said Sharks General Manager Doug
Wilson. "He is ready for the next step and we are prepared to give him the
tools to be successful. He has solid skills on the offensive side of the game
and has worked hard and improved in other areas. Sharks fans should be excited
to follow his progress at the next level."
Hennessy served as Team
Captain of the Quebec Remparts (QMJHL), where hey led the team in assists (50),
and placed eighth in the league in points.
The six-foot, 190-pound
Brockton, Massachusetts native helped lead his team to the playoffs where he
scored nine points (one goal, eight assists) en route to a first-round defeat
Ehelechner, a native of Rosenheim, Germany, impressed
many last season after moving to North America. The six-foot-two, 170-pound
goaltender went 23-21-4 for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League,
and was selected to play in the OHL All-Star Game. He finished the season tied
for sixth in the league in goals-against average, while ranking in the top 10
in wins (23), save percentage (.916) and shutouts (3). He helped lead his team
to the Eastern Conference semi-finals where they were defeated by the Ottawa
Ehelechner was selected in the fifth round (139th overall) in
Wilson will be busy over the next week, with the NHL Entry Draft
on Saturday and Sunday, and the unrestricted free agent signing period
beginning on Monday.
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