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Burnaby's Luca Cagnoni signs entry-level deal with San Jose Sharks

Cagnoni, 19, was taken by the Sharks in the fourth round of the 2023 NHL Draft, and just helped the Portland Winterhawks to the WHL Final.
Burnaby's Luca Cagnoni (#73) helped the Portland Winterhawks reach the 2023-24 WHL Championship final.

Luca Cagnoni is ready to plunge into the shark tank that is the National Hockey League (NHL).

The 19-year-old Burnaby defenceman signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, May 22, and will report to the team's training camp later this summer.

Cagnoni recently helped the Portland Winterhawks reach the Western Hockey League (WHL) Championship finals, averaging a point per game — 13 in 13 playoff matches.

Additionally, the Burnaby Winter Club alum led all WHL blue-liners in the 2023-24 regular season with 90 points, including 18 goals.

That's the first time in 30 years, 1993-94, that a league d-man has reached that plateau.

Cagnoni was taken by San Jose in the fourth round, 123rd overall, of the 2023 NHL Draft, for his 200-foot game and strong playmaking abilities, said Sharks general manager Mike Grier.

"He had an impressive season individually for the Winterhawks, showcasing his ability to make plays on the offensive side of the puck while also being an effective player in his own zone," Grier said in a statement. 

"We are happy to have him a part of the organization."

Cagnoni is eligible to return to Portland for his 20-year-old season "at San Jose's discretion," a team release explained.

In 205 career WHL games to date, Cagnoni has compiled 44 goals, 149 assists and 193 points. He was named a U.S. Division first team all-star for his efforts in Portland in his latest campaign.

He recorded three helpers in the WHL finals. The Winterhawks lost to Moose Jaw 4-0 in the best-of-seven series. 

Cagnoni is joining a San Jose organization that just wrapped up a 19-54-9 season that sunk to the bottom of the NHL standings.

As a result, the Sharks have the number one pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, scheduled for June 28 and 29 in Las Vegas.