Sign in with your NHL account:
  • Submit
  • Or
  • Sign in with Google

Sharks Were The Inspiration

Sena Acolatse Says The Sharks Got Him Interested In Hockey

Friday, 03.04.2011 / 7:30 PM / News
By San Jose Sharks Staff
Share with your Friends

Sharks Were The Inspiration
The Bay Area has been producing hockey prospects for several years. But for the first time, a local product is part of the Sharks organization and it’s a sweet reward for all kids who’ve started skating in Northern California. And the signing of prospect Sena Acolatse would likely never have happened with any club had it not been for the Sharks existence.

Acolatse was born when the Bay Area franchise was awarded and donned the skates because of the men wearing teal on television.

“I can 100 percent say the San Jose Sharks were the reason I started hockey,” Acolatse said. “I remember Mike Ricci was on the team and Jeff Friesen and Owen Nolan. Mike Vernon was in net. Marco Sturm was there, too. I’d have to say my favorite player was Ricci at the time.”

He was even fortunate enough to get a Nolan autograph that was a great keepsake. The past is great, but due to the past ties, Acolatse is also a fan of the current Sharks lineup.

Dan Boyle is my favorite defenseman and Joe Thornton is one of my favorite players,” Acolatse said.

The Hayward- born Acolatse honed his early skills at what is now Sharks Ice at Fremont before moving to Edmonton and now his hockey career is coming full circle.

“It all started there for me so it was kind of cool and I took that as a sign too,” Acolatse said.

Acolatse didn’t hide the fact that playing for his favorite childhood team and his inspiration for picking up the game was a bonus to choosing the Sharks, but in the end it was the Sharks success in winning, developing and rewarding players who’ve earned a shot with the big club.

“I talked to a couple of teams throughout the year and San Jose seemed like the best fit for me,” Acolatse said. “From watching the Sharks organization and what they’ve done, I was pretty impressed, so I thought it was a good choice.”

The Sharks organization was direct with Acolatse about what they saw in his future and he liked what he heard.

“They told me what they thought about me and what they see in my game and how they want to mold me into a player,” Acolatse said. “They told me how they want to work with me in the summer and it all sounded appealing to me. I agreed with some of what they were saying. That was a big part of my decision, what they see for my future.”

Like many in the diverse Bay Area, Acolatse’s family has a diverse background.

“My dad was from Ghana and he moved to California for work,” Acolatse said. “My mom was born in California (Oakland) and all her sisters are from there and (so are) her parents. My mom and dad met at their job.”

The flights from Edmonton to the Bay Area weren’t too frequent over the years, but Acolatse had a recent trip “home.”

“I was there this past summer, but before that I hadn’t been back there in quite a bit,” Acolatse said. “I got to see all my family and it was good to see them.”

An offensive blueliner who doesn’t “mind mixing it up here and there,” Acolatse spent much of his last summer dedicating himself to his professional career. He trained in Los Angeles with T.R. Goodman, renowned for training National Hockey League players such as ex-Sharks defenseman Rob Blake and future Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios.

Now all the story needs is the picture perfect ending with Acolatse becoming the first Bay Area product to play in an NHL game for the Sharks.

“That would be an unbelievable feeling,” Acolatse said. “Just to play in the National Hockey League itself would be a great feeling. Having the background with San Jose would add more to it. I’m already honored to be part of the organization and to be able to put the jersey on one day would be a great feeling.”

Head Coach Todd McLellan said it was another example of how it’s possible for kids to live their hockey dream, no matter where they’re from. Hopefully Acolatse is just the first of many prospects to attempt and live their dream with the Sharks.

If you haven’t started following Logan Couture on Twitter, the fact that ESPN ran a Tweet today is a sign you should. The post noted that Charlie Sheen “might be the only person in the world that’s #winning more than us right now.”

The Sharks will play hosts to Dallas at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and tickets can be found at the HP Pavilion Ticket Office and at The contest will be on CSN California, 98.5 and 102.1 KFOX and




1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 62 38 17 7 182 174 83
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 62 37 20 5 183 146 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 60 29 19 12 162 153 70
9 CGY 61 33 24 4 174 158 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 DAL 61 27 25 9 191 202 63
12 COL 61 26 24 11 161 175 63
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46


J. Pavelski 62 31 25 12 56
L. Couture 62 21 32 2 53
J. Thornton 58 12 40 -2 52
B. Burns 62 16 29 -3 45
P. Marleau 62 13 31 -14 44
T. Wingels 55 12 15 -5 27
T. Hertl 62 10 14 -3 24
J. Braun 51 1 19 3 20
M. Vlasic 57 7 11 10 18
M. Karlsson 33 9 7 4 16
A. Niemi 24 16 7 .913 2.62
A. Stalock 5 7 1 .899 2.85
Image Map