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2017 NHL Draft: Sharks pick up defenseman Mario Ferraro in second round

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He’s headed to UMass Amherst this fall.

Photo Courtesy of Robert Brouillette

The San Jose Sharks selected Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) defenseman Mario Ferraro with the 49th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NHL Draft.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound blueliner, who grew up in Toronto and was born just two days shy of 2016 eligibility, scored the second-most points among all USHL defenders last season (41), and boasts some offensive upside, according to Future Considerations’ scouting report:

He displays stellar puck control and composure at high rates of speed, keeps the puck close and can dangle his way through traffic if needed. He rushes the puck with confidence and makes smart, decisions when to pass, or if the safest move is to just get rid of it. He possesses great vision, especially when it comes to creating offense. Nice balance between being conservative with the puck and making high risk, high reward plays. He is solid on the PP point as well, due to his mobility, vision and creativity. He possesses an excellent, powerful one-time slap shot and can wrist pucks accurately on net.

Future Considerations liked his defensive game as well, and also wrote that “this cool, calm and collective defenseman has promising upside and would be a solid addition to any team looking for a skilled, mobile two-hundred foot defenseman.”

The Sharks were certainly high enough on Ferraro to select him in the second round, but this pick may be a bit of a reach, at least according to some prospect rankings. TSN’s Bob McKenzie, based on input from NHL scouts, ranked Ferraro as the 81st player in this draft class. On the low end, McKeen’s Hockey ranked him at 121.

Given those evaluations and that San Jose’s pick selection is 123rd overall, there’s a strong chance he wouldn’t have been available with their next selection. Based on projections, there seems to have been a decent chance he would have been available had San Jose traded out of its second round spot and decided to accumulate more picks.

Like San Jose first rounder Josh Norris, Ferraro is committed to play in the NCAA this fall. Ferraro is headed to Hockey East, not the Big Ten, to join the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (UMass) Minutemen.