Sports

Mario Ferraro’s rookie season couldn’t have been any more special

April 30, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By ROBERT BELARDI

When a dream becomes reality, the feeling is surreal. Years of drive and ambition, compiled into one monumental moment. 

It depends how you consume it. It wouldn’t be uncharacteristic to bask in the moment with tranquility. It isn’t totally surprising either, to be excited and completely shocked. 

San Jose Sharks rookie defenceman and King City native Mario Ferraro told the Caledon Citizen, being an NHL player, hadn’t sunk in, until halfway through the season. 

“I don’t think it really hit me until I was about halfway through the season that I was playing in the National Hockey League, just complete shock, something you work for your whole life so it hits you by surprise for sure. A lot to soak in,” Ferraro said. 

To be on the roster for this season, he had to earn the right to feel shock and excitement. 

Following two years at UMass-Amherst, his call to camp arrived and he focused on one thing. 

“My main goal was to show the coaches how bad I wanted it. Obviously, I wanted to prove that I can play and showcase what I’ve been working on, but the most important thing was just working as hard as I can, try to make the most of the opportunity.” 

Head coach at the beginning of the season, Peter DeBoer (later replaced by Bob Boughner), appreciated Ferraro’s efforts and awarded him a spot in the lineup. Ferraro praised the opportunity given to him by the organization. He says he is privileged to be a Shark. 

On opening night in Las Vegas, against the Golden Knights, excitement and nerves struck the young defenceman before his blades hit the NHL’s ice for the first time. 

“This one, was obviously the most special moment of my life and so along with that came the most nerves.” 

Two nights later, the Sharks hosted the Golden Knights in San Jose, resulting in the young defenceman’s first point in the league. 

He received a nice pass from “Jumbo” Joe Thornton, corralling the puck off the half wall. He shot the puck on a bad angle towards the net and the rebound found Barclay Goodrow who turned it in. 

Ferraro says he wishes the team got the win, however, he was excited to have received his first NHL point. 

Off the ice, finding a place to live in San Jose hasn’t been all that difficult Ferraro says. 

“Getting comfortable in the city was fairly easy since I’ve done it about three or four times now. I also had a ton of nice people help me get accustomed to the new environment.” 

He is humbled by the support of all of his teammates in the locker room that have played a huge role in his new life in California. 

Thornton has invited Ferraro over for dinner quite a few times. He says Thornton has been very supportive over the course of this season, welcoming Ferraro with open arms and taking him under his wing with anything that he needs. 

Another player Ferraro has been close with is none other, than the other player on the roster with an exceptionally, long beard. 

Brent Burns has been special in developing multiple facets of Ferraro’s game with pointers in practice and on the bench. 

He says it’s not just these two players. Every man in the locker room has played a role in a memorable rookie season for the young Canadian. 

Especially, when Ferraro scored his first goal, at the turn of the new year. 

In a 6-1 rout of the Philadelphia Flyers on December 28th, scoring his first NHL goal is something he will never forget. 

“It’s something you know, no one will take away from you. I scored my first NHL goal and that’s something I’ll never forget and it’s something that is just a special moment where I really think ‘wow, I’m in the NHL.’” 

He has never been a point-hungry player. It never felt like a relief to score that late in the year. He thinks about his team first and that’s what matters. 

He continues to learn from the head coach now Bob Boughner, who is always looking to make his players better. Either with film or individual pointers in practice, he is keen on finding players weaknesses and improving them; even if that means, being tough to bring out further results. 

Until or if, the NHL season returns, Ferraro says that the NHL is everything he imagined. 

“It was everything I dreamed of and more. I couldn’t have asked to be alongside a better group of guys in a better organization. Love San Jose. I do look to continue to work hard and set greater goals for myself along the way. Obviously, the goal is to win the championship and so, that’s what is on my mind right now.” 

As of now, the 49th overall pick in 2017 continues to keep himself in shape during quarantine. 

For workout videos and other related entertainment, you can follow his YouTube channel “Youngest of Plugs” to see what San Jose’s #38 is up to on his free time. 



         

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