UMass loses Ferraro as sophomore blueliner signs with San Jose

UMass-Amherst (Tim Brule)
UMass defenseman Mario Ferraro skated two seasons for the Minutemen, playing in the national championship game earlier this month (photo: Dan & Margaret Hickling).

Massachusetts sophomore defenseman Mario Ferraro has signed an entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks, forgoing the final two seasons of his collegiate eligibility.

Ferraro was selected by the Sharks in the second round (49th overall) in the 2017 NHL Draft.

“The entire UMass hockey program is excited to wish Mario well as he moves forward with his hockey career after signing with the San Jose Sharks,” said UMass coach Greg Carvel in a statement. “Mario has been one of the most important parts of our two-year turnaround as UMass hockey has become a legitimate and respected program again. Mario led his teammates on the ice and off. He is a unique individual and the ultimate warrior. His character, commitment and drive will serve him well as a professional, and were key to the success of UMass hockey over the past two years.

“We all thank him for everything he has done for this program and look forward to seeing him in a Sharks jersey in the future.”

Ferraro, a 2018-19 Third Team Hockey East All-Star, was one of six Minutemen to appear in all 41 games on the season, logging two goals and 12 assists for 14 points with a plus-6 rating.

“Time flies when you’re having fun,” added Ferraro. “Thank you to my teammates coaches and UMass hockey for the unforgettable two years. The bond we share will last a lifetime. I love my team and I’m going to miss my family.”

Over two seasons at UMass, Ferraro played in 80 of a possible 80 games and registered 37 points on six goals and 31 assists.

The King City, Ont., native was selected to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team in 2017-18 after leading all UMass defensemen in scoring with 23 points on four goals and a team-best 19 assists as a freshman.