The Sharks added some promising defensive depth to their organization.
Arizona State defenseman Brinson Pasichnuk agreed to join the organization, general manager Doug Wilson said in a statement Tuesday.
"Brinson is an excellent puck-moving defenseman with a physical brand of hockey," Wilson said. "As captain for the Sun Devils program for two seasons under Arizona State head coach Greg Powers, he is a great teammate and proven leader. We are happy to have him join our organization."
The Athletic's Kevin Kurz first reported, then The Hockey News' Ken Campbell and Bay Area News Group's Curtis Pashelka later confirmed Monday that Pasichnuk was nearing a contract agreement with the Sharks.
San Jose did not say the prospect signed a contract, and Campbell reported Monday that Pasichnuk's "intention is to sign" for this season if the NHL season resumes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Campbell wrote that Pasichnuk will sign for next season if the current season doesn't resume.
Pasichnuk, 22, scored 107 points (39 goals, 68 assists) in 136 games over four seasons with the Sun Devils. The 6-foot, 200-pound defenseman ranked third among blueliners with 37 points this season, tying for second in goals (11) behind only Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist David Farrance of Boston University.
Campbell reported Monday that Pasichnuk narrowed down his 20 suitors to the Sharks and Arizona Coyotes. Pasichnuk told The Hockey News that he knows where he is signing, but is "just waiting to see what (the NHL is doing)" for the remainder of the season during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Sharks got a glimpse at Pasichnuk last summer when he skated in the team's development camp, along with his brother, Steen. The NHL's Central Scouting Bureau ranked the younger Pasichnuk 115th out of all draft-eligible skaters in 2016, but the defenseman was not drafted.
A standout collegiate career got him on to NHL scouts' radar, and Pasichnuk conceivably could be in line for playing time this season -- assuming the Sharks play if the season resumes -- or next. Nikolai Knyzhov and Jacob Middleton have played on San Jose's third defense pairing since Brenden Dillon was traded to the Washington Capitals last month, and Pasichnuk -- a left-shooting defenseman like those three -- could then slot in behind Radim Simek and Mario Ferraro.
Ferraro, 21, and top prospect Ryan Merkley, 19, are the Sharks' most promising young defensemen. Pasichnuk's time at Arizona State indicates he'll warrant consideration, too.