Swimming with the Sharks
Last month, Sasha Chmelevski played in his first professional hockey game with the San Jose Sharks AHL affiliate, the San Jose Barracuda. In his pro debut, he helped his team to a 4-0 victory by recording a goal and a assist, earning him the 2nd star honours.
— San Jose Barracuda (@sjbarracuda) April 5, 2018
From the Ottawa 67’s to the San Jose Barracuda (formerly Worcester Sharks), and eventually to the NHL’s San Jose Sharks, the path Chmelevski is taking seems all to familiar as it’s giving fans a slight flashback to the 2008/2009 season.
The leading-scorer for the Barber Poles this season, Chmelevski, looks to follow in the footsteps of one the 67’s most notable alumni, Logan Couture.
Couture finished the 2008-09 season with the 67’s and just like Chmelevski, signed his entry-level contract immediately after and was put on an amateur tryout contract for the remainder of the Barracuda’s season.
When looking at Sasha Chmelevski and Logan Couture, there are several comparisons. The most obvious being that they’ve both played for the 67’s, the Sharks AHL affiliate and were drafted by the San Jose Sharks. But when you look at it from a hockey perspective, both have been near the top of the scoring leaderboard for Ottawa in their respective seasons, while being key contributors to the team’s success.
Blessed to have signed my first NHL contract with the @SanJoseSharks Thank you to my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and agent for helping me reach this point in my life! #gosharks pic.twitter.com/ikPYztv110
— Sasha Chmelevski (@sashachmelevski) April 4, 2018
Chmelevski’s best season as a 67 was this past one, where he recorded 76 points (35 goals, 41 assists) in 68 games. Couture on the other hand, saw a career-high point total in 2008-09 with 87 points (39 goals, 48 assists) in 62 games. Regardless of what team they’ve played for or what year it was, both of them have been top weapons on the ice and have come through in high-pressured situations.
Couture, who has spent all of his nine NHL seasons with the Sharks, led the 2016 Stanley Cup playoffs in points with 30 (10 goals, 20 assists) in 24 games. San Jose prospect, Chmelevski, posted five points (one goal, four assists) in five playoff games against the Hamilton Bulldogs.
So as Chmelevski takes the next step in his professional hockey career he can look for inspiration in his potential future teammate, Couture.