Incoming UMass D Mario Ferraro drafted by San Jose in second round of NHL draft

  • Mario Ferraro smiles as he holds a San Jose Sharks jersey after being selected by the team during the second round of the NHL hockey draft, Saturday, June 24, 2017, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) Nam Y. Huh

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 6/25/2017 6:28:21 PM

Mario Ferraro didn’t have to wait long Saturday morning to hear his name called at the NHL Draft.

The incoming UMass freshman defenseman was selected 49th overall by the San Jose Sharks, just over midway through the second round.

He was picked well ahead of his NHL Central Scouting ranking, which had him slotted as the 78th North American skater (non-goalies). He was actually the 30th player on that list taken as 17 European skaters and one goalie went ahead of him.

Ferraro, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound King City, Ontario native had eight goals and 33 assists for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL in 2016-17.

Being drafted does not affect Ferraro’s status at UMass. NHL Draft/NCAA Hockey rules allow a player to be drafted and still go to college. The selecting franchise retains a drafted player’s rights throughout his college career.

Ferraro will enroll in summer classes at UMass in early July.

“I thought it would be a really good program with a really good future,” he said at a press conference in Chicago after being selected. “I really liked the school there as far as academics. To be able to build a team and make them better. that’s what I’m excited for. There’s a lot of great freshmen going there.”

Among them is fellow defenseman Cale Makar. Ferraro is the second highest pick ever for a UMass player, behind only Makar, who went fourth overall in the first round Friday night.

Ferraro said he met Makar at the NHL Draft combine and looks forward to their playing together.

“It’s real exciting for sure. I sent him a text (after he was drafted). It’s going to be exciting. He’s a real talented kid,” Ferraro told the NHL Network. “I don’t know Cale Makar too well yet. I met him at the combine. He’s a great kid off the ice and of course he has a lot of skill on the ice. It’s going to be real exciting to play with him.”

MILESTONE DRAFT — Ferraro and Makar’s selections capped a historic draft for UMass.

In addition to its two draftees being the highest selections in school history, there were some other noteworthy points.

Makar was the highest player selected who is either headed to college or already in an NCAA program.

UMass was one of just three schools to have two players taken before the third round, joining Boston University and Michigan.

UMass was one of 30 colleges to have a player taken and one of 13 to have more than one.

Among the 22 players chosen from Hockey East schools, Makar was first and Ferraro fourth.

In the conference, only BU (seven) and Providence (three) had more players selected than UMass.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage


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