San Jose Sharks head coach Bob Boughner announced today that Mario Ferraro will join Brent Burns, Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl as the alternate captains for the team this season. Ferraro replaces current free agent Patrick Marleau, who won’t be back with the team this season. They’ll continue the leadership group’s trend of having one set of alternate captains during road games and another set for at home.
Ferraro is coming off of a one-goal and 17 point season through 56 games played in 2020-21. He was among the top of the team in goals above replacement, which is a very impressive feat considering he was just 22 years old and in his second season in the National Hockey League.
Ferraro has been praised by many teammates over his short and impressive NHL career. I got the opportunity to interview Kurtis Gabriel, former Sharks forward, who had this to say about Ferraro: “I can’t tell you how much respect I have for that guy. Every single team needs a guy like that, and there are not many of them. He’s a very special person. Should be the future captain of the Sharks in my opinion.”
While Ferraro isn’t the captain just yet, he’s definitely trending towards that direction after receiving the “A.”
Even the younger players are letting it be known that Ferraro is a great leader. After the Sept. 28 preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings, Sharks rookie forward William Eklund said, “He’s a really good locker room guy. He’s a person you can talk to if you want to know something.”
Ferraro himself has made it clear that he wants to be a part of the leadership group in San Jose that can help get this team back to the success they had for the past decade and a half. He told reporters: “I love it here. The Sharks are the team that trusted me and drafted me. I’m very loyal to this organization. [...] I would love to be a Shark forever.”
Ferraro is expected to log heavy minutes on the first pairing this season, so to see him take on an official leadership role in San Jose is not surprising, and he is likely to respond with a positive output.