The San Jose Sharks announced this evening that they have signed top prospect Noah Rod to his entry-level contract. The 20-year-old Swiss forward was the Sharks second-round pick in 2014, and has developed into one of San Jose’s most impressive young players while playing professionally in his native country in the NLA. Now, Rod will have to transition from pro hockey in Switzerland to pro hockey in California.
The two sides had been working toward a contract over the past few days, and reportedly have agreed to a three-year deal worth about $763K per year plus bonuses. Less than the maximum entry-level cap hit, the Sharks have afforded themselves a little extra flexibility in squeezing Rod into the mix next season if they deem him ready for NHL play. San Jose projects to be right up against the salary cap next season, so affordable young offense becomes extremely important to their success and Rod could be the key.
Over the past two seasons playing with Geneve-Servette HC of the NLA, the young forward has accumulated 30 points in 71 games. While that number may not jump off the page, it’s a very respectable total for a teenage playing against grown men in the what many consider to be the world’s third-best hockey league. Rod has also been an impressive contributor for Team Switzerland at each of the World Junior Championships, a point-per-game player both years. Rod’s offense has constantly been improving and he is known for his tough, scrappy play, but needs to bulk up his frame and adjust to the North American style before he can make an impact at the next level. The Sharks hope that those changes can be made sooner rather than later, but only time will tell.