Taking a look at the Sharks’ new leadership group

On a team with many big personalities, Logan Couture has risen above the rest to become the next captain of the Sharks.

During the training camp press conference with San Jose Sharks Head Coach Peter Deboer announcing the team’s new captain on October 5, 2015 he said, “We’ve got a leadership group around those three guys, but those are the guys that are wearing the letter during the year.” That leadership group was Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton and Logan Couture.

Pavelski served as the captain from the 2015-16 season to the 2018-19 season. With Pavelski signing with the Dallas Stars on July 1, the Sharks again saw themselves without a captain.

Until now:

With the Sharks naming their new leadership group, let’s take a look at the players who will be wearing the letters for the next year.

Logan Couture

Couture has been with the Sharks since they drafted him in 2007 and has been a staple in the lineup since his debut in the 2009-10 season. He has served as an alternate captain since the 2015-16 season until, and for some time was expected to be the Sharks’ next captain. He will now become the 10th captain of the Sharks.

He has stepped into the role of top-line center after Joe Thornton went down with injuries over the past few seasons. He has been a premier two-way center in the league over the past couple seasons. He has also been an extremely clutch player for the Sharks in the playoffs, leading the playoffs in scoring 2016 and leading the playoffs in goals this past season.

He has always been an emotional leader for the Sharks, even when he wasn’t serving as a part of the leadership group. He has been a player who has always spoken his mind, especially after this year’s playoffs.

Joe Thornton

Thornton resigned with the Sharks on Sept. 6, signing a one-year deal, and again will serve as an assistant captain. He has served as an alternate captain with the Sharks since the 2014-15 season, along with when he came to the Sharks on November 30, 2005 until the 2009-10 season, and served as the team’s eighth captain from 2010 to 2014. As one half of the iconic beards of the Sharks, he is staple in the Sharks lineup and seems to have no interest in playing anywhere else for the rest of his career.

Thornton is a player who has been an offensive star since he came to the Sharks, winning the Hart trophy and the Art Ross trophy in his first season with the Sharks. He had 51 points in 2018-19, adding to his Hall of Fame career that includes 1,478 points, 413 goals and 1,065 assists.

Brent Burns

Burns has been one of the top defensemen in the league over the past few years, breaking out into his role of one of the best offensive defenseman in the league in the 2015-16 season, and continuing his play into the next season, winning the Norris Trophy.

He has lead the Sharks in points for the past three seasons, as well as in assists. He has been having career seasons over the past four seasons earning him fame around the league. With his long beard, missing teeth, and creative suits he has become one of, if not most, recognizable faces of the Sharks.

Burns previously wore the “A” periodically with the Sharks over the last two seasons.

Erik Karlsson

After signing a major eight-year contract to stay in with the Sharks, this Norris-winning defenseman is ready to continue bolstering an already dangerous defensive corps. Now the former Ottawa Senators captain will be serving as an alternate captain for the Sharks.

Even though he was limited to 53 games in his first season with the Sharks, he was still able to score 45 points, but with a career low of three goals. However, after an injury plagued season, it is expected that Karlsson will be a dominant force on the blue line, if his eight-game assist streak last December is any hint of how he’ll look when healthy.

Tomas Hertl

Hertl, at age 25, is the youngest of the players who will be serving as alternate captain, but it is not shock that he was selected. He has been growing into being a leader with San Jose, now centering his own line and become one of the voices of the team.

With his play this past season’s, posting career highs in goals, assists and points, Hertl proved himself as the Sharks’ second-line center. Injuries have shorted some of early seasons of his career, but he has finally stayed healthy and has really stepped in to his center role. With his first 30-goal, 70-point season, we are starting to see what we can expect from a full season of Hertl.

Though many Sharks fans expected Couture to become the Sharks’ next captain, we will be seeing some new alternate captain combinations in the upcoming season. And with training camp starting, the Sharks and their new leadership group are gearing up for a new season and the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.