Sena Acolatse will forever have a special bond with the San Jose Sharks. Not only did the undrafted defenseman become the first Bay Area native to sign with the Sharks, but he also shares the same age.
Soon after Acolatse and Sharks hockey were “born” in to the Bay Area, Acolatse picked up the sport at his local ice rink in Fremont, California. The rink would later become Sharks Ice at Fremont, but the passion and drive for the game was instilled in Acolatse immediately.
“[The Sharks] are the reason I started playing hockey,” said Acolatse. “My dad would take me to games… I loved the speed of the game and how rough it was and it caught my eye. I decided to take it up.”
Fast forward and Acolatse is in camp preparing for his second professional season with the Worcester Sharks. In 65 games last season, the 6-0, 205 pound blueliner scored eight goals, second most among team defenseman. Acolatse saw multiple opportunities on the Sharks power play last season and produced 11 points when his side had the man advantage. He brings an offensive presence to his position, but understands his defensive responsibilities and a responsibility to continue and evolve both sides of his game.
“I feel like I’ve got to be better defensively this year,” admits Acolatse. “I had a decent season offensively for my first year, but I wasn’t too good in the plus/minus column. I’ve got to be better in our own end.”
Acolatse also brings one other element to his game, understanding the influence it can have on the team.
“I’ll give the boys a spark if I have to,” said Acolatse. “I don’t mind fighting if it comes to that or standing up for one of the guys.”
Acolatse had seven fighting majors last season in Worcester. He also gives his squad a fighter’s chance at a successful 2012-13 campaign, one he expects to last well in to the playoffs.
“This year I think that we’ve got the team to make the playoffs,” said Acolatse. “If we get in, I think that we have a team that could go far.”
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