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Sharks sign three prospects
Bernier heads trio of 2003 picks
2/28/05 - By Mike Lee

With the 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 of Victoriaville.

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 67's.

Ehelechner was selected in the fifth round (139th overall) in 2003

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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