The San Jose Sharks have signed 23 year old defenseman Mario Ferraro to a four year contract extension.
NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that the deal is worth $3.25 million per season.
Obviously Sharks GM Mike Grier is betting that Ferraro will continue his development and grow into the value of this deal because... well... $13 million for an unproven defenseman is a LOT of good faith.
"Mario has shown that he is a dynamic and reliable defenseman for our club, skating top-level minutes against the best competition every night and delivering solid results," said Grier in a prepared statement. "His energy and work ethic are the reason why he has achieved so much in his early part of his career, and we look forward to watching him continue to grow and elevate his role on the team."
Ferraro, 23, recorded 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 63 games played this past season. And evidently that's enough to get you $13 million these days...
He led San Jose in blocked shots (151) and ranked third in hits (140) by the end of the season. He also finished ninth in blocks-per-60 (6.25) among NHL skaters and prior to his injury on Feb. 26, he was third in blocked shots with 127. On Nov. 6 vs. New Jersey, he became the seventh pair of Sharks defensemen in franchise history to both log at least 30 minutes of TOI in a game.
Over the course of his NHL career, he has recorded 42 points (five goals, 37 assists) in 180 games. Since his debut in 2019-20, he leads Sharks skaters in hits (415), ranks second in blocked shots (305) and in blocks-per-60 (4.98, minimum 50 games).
With Brent Burns now out of the picture in San Jose and with Marc Edouard Vlasic playing a diminishing role, look for Ferraro to make a bigger impact this season and beyond. I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see him paired with Erik Karlsson on the team's top defensive unit this upcoming season.