Jr. Sharks advance Peterson to NCAA, Braslavski to NAHL
The San Jose Jr. Sharks continue to prove that the organization is not only big on team success, but on developing players to be ready to hone their skills at higher levels.
Two recent examples are Devin Cooley (University of Denver) and Zak Galambos (Minnesota State University) playing for top-five NCAA Division I schools.
The past few weeks have yielded two more as longtime Jr. Sharks girls standout Claire Peterson has committed to play NCAA D-I hockey at the University of Connecticut (Hockey East), while forward Barak Braslavski has signed a tender agreement with the NAHL’s Fairbanks Ice Dogs for next season.
Peterson, a 14-year veteran of the Jr. Sharks girls program, will join the Huskies as a defenseman, beginning with the 2019-20 season. She has remained a Jr. Shark for her entire youth career, beginning in 2005 as a four-year-old on the girls’ 10U team. Peterson was also a member of the inaugural Jr. Sharks girls’ 8U team during the 2007 MLK Tournament and is now playing in her fourth season at the 19U level. She was part of the Jr. Sharks girls’ 19U AA national championship team in 2017.
“I have had the pleasure watching Claire develop as a hockey player and a person over the past 10 years, both as her coach and as a family friend,” said Jr. Sharks’ 19U AAA assistant coach Rick Burke. “Claire has tremendous drive, a positive attitude, and a love for the game of hockey that accelerated her development to becoming a top defenseman at the Tier I AAA level today. I could not be happier to see Claire’s tireless hard work, dedication to improve her game and a late growth spurt, pay off with this opportunity to achieve her dream of playing NCAA D-I collegiate hockey.”
Braslavski is playing 18U AAA for the Jr. Sharks this season. He started in the Jr. Sharks House League at the age of four and has played a majority of his youth hockey in San Jose. Despite leaving for a couple season, Braslavski returned to the Jr. Sharks this season.
“Ever since I started playing travel with the Jr. Sharks, I have been given the opportunity to develop my hockey sense in every situation,” Braslavski said. “The coaches really care about your development and getting you the next level and assist you in every way they can. They have been one of the biggest supports in my hockey career.
“In order to make Fairbanks, I need to really show my positive attributes as a player, such as my speed or shooting ability at main camp. I will continue to work hard the rest of this season in order to be at high-level performance when the time comes.”
Jr. Sharks’ 18U coach Matt Guffey can’t wait to see what Braslavski can do in the NAHL.
“Barak’s explosive speed and elite stick skills will make him a valuable asset to Fairbanks,” said Guffey. “Not only do I expect him to earn a spot, I believe he’ll contribute right away. His quickness and top-end speed are very high. He can stickhandle in a phone booth and has a fantastic shot. Barak is fearless and doesn’t shy away from dirty areas on the ice. His versatility is also worth noting, he can play wing and center; he’s quite adept at faceoffs.
“He is a fantastic student and is already an NCAA prospect.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Jan. 25, 2019)