“Fearsome Young Sharks” Prospect Profile – Michael Sgarbossa

Photo courtesy of Alex Zimmermann {@Alex_Z_Sharkie}

On Sept. 21, 2010, San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson announced the team signed unrestricted free agent forward Michael Sgarbossa to an entry-level contract.

“We have been watching Michael for a while now and he showed a glimpse of what we feel he is capable of at the YoungStars Tournament,” said Wilson in a press release announcing the Sgarbossa signing on the Sharks website.

Described by hockeysfuture.com as a “lithe and agile skater with quick hands and great offensive instincts,” Sgarbossa was selected in the third round {54th overall} of the 2008 Ontario Hockey League {OHL} Draft by the Barrie Colts.  In his rookie campaign for the Colts, Sgarbossa registered 43 points on 10 goals and 33 assists to go along with 43 penalty minutes in 67 games played.

Avoiding the sophomore slump, Sgarbossa registered 20 points on seven goals and 13 assists in the Colts first 19 games of the 2009-10 season before being traded along with defenseman Ryan O’Conner to the Saginaw Spirit for defensemen Nick Crawford and T.J. Brodie.  Over the course of the next 48 games for the Spirit, Sgarbossa registered 32 points on 13 goals and 19 assists to go along with 49 penalty minutes.

Prior to the start of the 2010-11 OHL season, Sgarbossa was invited to the Sharks rookie camp and appeared in two of the Sharks three games at the 2010 YoungStars Tournament in Penticton, B.C., from Sept. 12-16.  Sgarbossa finished second overall in scoring for the tournament, registering four points on three goals and one assist, including a hat trick against Edmonton on Sept. 15.

After the YoungStars Tournament, Sgarbossa returned to Saginaw in time for the team’s season opener in Kitchner and continued his hot scoring streak by registering 20 points on seven goals and 13 assists in the Spirits first 26 games.

Unfortunately, Sgarbossa was made expendable when Spirit General Manager Todd Watson traded Sgarbossa and 17-year olds Alex Racino and Frank Schumacher to the Sudbury Wolves for John McFarland and Ben Chiarot in a blockbuster trade on Dec. 9, 2010.

“When I heard about the trade, I was shocked,” said Sgarbossa in an interview with Ben Leeson for a Dec. 2010 Sudbury Star article.  “There hadn’t been any rumors, then they called me in and told me I was going to Sudbury.”

Wolves General Manager and President Blaine Smith told Mackenzie Liddell in a March 2011 article for tsn.daytondailynews.com that Sgarbossa had always been high on the organization’s radar.

“He {Sgarbossa} was always one of those top players that if the opportunity came around we were very interested in trading for him,” said Smith.  “When Saginaw contacted us about John, we made it clear to them that if we’re looking to move a player of his quality, we would certainly be looking for a player like Michael in return.”

After spending two season fighting for ice time on deep teams in Saginaw and Barrie, Sgarbossa flourished as the Wolves go-to-guy by registering 62 points in 37 regular season games {1.68 points per game} on 29 goals and 33 assists.  In addition, Sgarbossa was named OHL Player of the Month for the March after tying for the league lead with 27 points on 10 goals and 17 assists in 13 games {eight of which were multi-point games} and recorded a league high plus/minus rating of +15.

“In Saginaw,” I never thought I was playing my role,” said Sgarbossa in Liddell’s article.  “I was more of a two-way defensive player.  When I came here they told me right away what they wanted me to do and I became more of a scorer.”

Score is exactly what Sgarbossa did as he registered 12 points on four goals and eight assists in the Wolves shocking four-game sweep of the Eastern Conference’s second-place team, the Ottawa 67’s, in the first round of the OHL Playoffs, highlighted by a career high six point game with a goal and five assists in an 8-7 overtime win in game one.  Sgarbossa capped the series off with a two-goal effort in the series clinching 5-3 win.

Sgarbossa finished with 14 points on five goals and nine assists in the Wolves eight OHL Playoff games as they were swept out in the second round by the top seeded Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.

At the Wolves season ending awards luncheon on April 14, Sgarbossa led all winners with four awards, including the Bill Plaunt Top Scorer award, the Molson Cup three-star award, the Ken Burgess Playoff MVP award and the Most Goals award.

“He gave us that top-line threat and gave us more depth,” said Wolves head coach Trent Cull in an interview with Leeson for an April 2011 Sudbury Star article.  “He fit right into that role really well for us and opened up some room for other guys.  We had hoped he would do well.  That’s why we were enticed by the trade.  But he did exceed our expectations.”

Expected to return to the Wolves for the 2011-12 season, Sgarbossa will be taking his talents on the road this summer along with fellow Sharks prospect Freddie Hamilton as they have been invited to the Canadian national junior team’s summer development camp from Aug. 3-7 in Edmonton and Fort McMurray.

“We are very proud of Michael and wish him success in his pursuit of a roster spot on Team Canada,” said Smith in a team press release.  “Michael is a very dynamic offensive talent and has developed into a very dependable two-way player, as well.  We know Michael will represent himself and the Sudbury Wolves organization very well.”

HIGHLIGHTS

Michael Sgarbossa two-goal game for Saginaw  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Spiritvideoclip”}
In this video clip which has no sound, Sgarbossa scores two goals in a Feb. 6, 2010 game against the Erie Otters.

Michael Sgarbossa shootout goal  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Spiritvideoclip”}
In this video clip, Sgarbossa scores a spectacular shootout goal for the Spirit in a Oct. 9, 2010 game against Guelph.  Sgarbossa’s goal starts at the 2:00 mark of the clip.

Michael Sgarbossa scores against Erie  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Spiritvideoclip”}
In this video clip, Sgarbossa scores for the Spirit in a Nov. 12, 2010, game against the Erie Otters.  Sgarbossa’s goal starts at the 0:40 second mark of the clip.

Michael Sgarbossa scores against Brampton  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Spiritvideoclip”}
In this video clip, Sgarbossa scores a power play goal for the Spirit in a Nov. 18, 2010 game against the Brampton Battalion.  Sgarbossa’s goal starts at the 1:53 mark of the clip.

Michael Sgarbossa scores against Sarnia  {Courtesy of YouTube user “Spiritvideoclip”}
In this video clip, Sgarbossa scores a backhanded goal for the Spirit in a Nov. 19, 2010, game against the Sarnia Sting.  Sgarbossa’s goal starts at the 3:42 mark of the clip.

Michael Sgarbossa scores against Brampton  {Courtesy of YouTube user “battalionmedia”}
In this video clip, Sgarbossa scores a goal for the Sudbury Wolves in a Jan. 23, 2011, game against the Brampton Battalion.  Sgarbossa’s goal starts at the 1:40 mark of the clip.

Michael Sgarbossa’s six-point night against Ottawa  {Courtesy of YouTube user “KeKeKumba”}
Highlights of Sgarbossa’s six point night {one goal, five assists} in game one of the OHL Playoffs against the Ottawa 67’s.

*Videos and information were used from sharks.nhl.com, www.hockeydb.com, www.sudburywolves.com, www.thesudburystar.com, www.hockeysfuture.com, tsn.daytondailynews.com, www.barriecolts.com, www.saginawspirits.com and www.youtube.com for this post entry.*

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on July 1, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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