SAN JOSE—Jacob Middleton, a former LA Kings draft pick, signed a three-year entry deal with the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, September 7.

The 21 year-old defenseman stands at 6 feet and 3 inches tall, weighs 210 pounds, and hails from Wainright, Alberta. He was initially selected 210th overall by Los Angeles in 2014.

Middleton appeared in 50 games with the San Jose Barracuda this past season and had nine points (one goal and eight assists), a plus-11 rating, and 56 penalty minutes. He exceeded all team rookies in penalty minutes and ranked third in plus/minus amongst them.

Before landing in San Jose last season, Middleton spent four years with the Owen Sound Attack and Ottawa 67’s of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and the Manchester Monarchs of the ECHL from 2012 to 2016. He played his final two games of the 2015-2016 season with Manchester, the same in which he was appointed captain of Ottawa.

“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. 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,” said Joe Will, Assistant General Manager for the Sharks and General Manager for the Barracuda.

“I came into the training camp last year and got the American League offer, which I ended up taking. But I kind of said at that time, when you come to training camp, every kid wants to earn that NHL contract. I didn’t get it, and I just figured coming and signing that [American] deal and working my way through the line up would be the best possible way to put myself in a good position to get that next contract. Fortunately, it worked out and I get three more years out here, which feels great,” Middleton told San Francisco News following the Sharks versus Avalanche Prospect Showcase on Saturday, September 9.