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Sharks sign D Middleton

(Photo by Rocky Widner/NHLI via Getty Images)

(TSX / STATS) -- The San Jose Sharks signed defenseman Jacob Middleton to a three-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Thursday.

Middleton recorded nine points (one goal, eight assists) and a plus-11 rating in 50 games last season with the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old Alberta native led all team rookies in penalty minutes with 56 in 2016-17.

"Jacob really took a big step forward this past season in his first year of professional hockey and we're excited with his progress with the Barracuda," Sharks assistant general manger and Barracuda GM Joe Will said.

"He signed with the Barracuda prior to last season despite the fact he still had junior eligibility, and his development really took off under Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer and his staff. His skill set, coupled with an impressive work ethic made him an integral piece on the blueline in our AHL playoff run and we're excited to see him take his game to the next level again next season."

Middleton spent four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League prior to joining the Barracuda, collecting 86 points (14 goals, 72 assists) and 219 penalty minutes with Owen Sound and Ottawa.

Updated September 7, 2017

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