Lindsay Kramer authors this feature. In it, we find out that Sharp was recently told to get an apartment in San Antonio, so he won't have to live out of a hotel anymore. This is a really good sign for him, as you could probably ascertain.
Anaheim had its antenna pointing in Sharp's direction from early in his senior season. Even though the player had done little to merit more than a passing nod, the Ducks were already checking up on him.
"He's just a kid who got more opportunities to play at Duluth, and he got more confidence," said David McNab, senior vice president of hockey operations for Anaheim. "It was easy to like him."
Very quickly, he was easier to love. Unless you were trying to shut him down. Sharp scoffed at precedent and laughed all over the score sheet. He showed up at school his senior season with an improved shot and compiled 26 goals (second in the nation) and 24 assists in 43 games.
"I just decided to come in as a fresh start, was really motivated to put up some numbers," Sharp said. "I definitely didn't think it was going to work out that well, but we had some good guys around us. It was a pretty special year. You are having the time of your life with some of your best friends."
That was just the window dressing, since Sharp had yet to produce in clutch moments for a team that was a stranger to big games. But he blew away that concern by helping his school win the WCHA tournament with a hat trick in the Final Five title game. In seven postseason games (including two in the NCAA tournament) Sharp came up with 6 goals and 3 assists.
"It wasn't pressure for us," Sharp said. "We were having fun with it. When you are having fun, you don't really feel any pressure."
Sharp's fan club was growing exponentially by now, and NHL scouts pitching free-agent deals were at the front of the line to apply for membership cards. But Sharp, recalling the Ducks' overtures before he literally became "Mr. Big Shot," took a pact from Anaheim.
"Obviously, Anaheim was my first choice," he said. "When they are there the whole way, they speak to you a lot. It shows you are doing something right."
Obviously, this is great for Sharp. It's also good for UMD. Any time the program is mentioned as a potential development tool for pro prospects, it's good for recruiting. People notice these little things as they are preparing to make a college choice.
Not only that, but it's nice to see people you watched play for four years succeed at the next level.