2009-10: Matt Tennyson had a good freshman season with the WMU Broncos where the big offensive defenseman lead all freshmen in games played and was second in points by first year players. He finished the season having scored two goals along with seven assists and a good minus one rating in 34 NCAA games.
2010-11: The sophomore defender had an excellent offensive year at WMU where Tennyson led the defensemen in scoring, power play goals (seven) and scoring two game winning goals in the CCHA playoffs. He finished his second year having scored nine goals along with 12 assists and a good minus one rating in 42 NCAA games.
2011-12: Tennyson was the top offensive defenseman at Western Michigan University for coach, Andy Murray who coached in the NHL before joining the university this season. The junior was fourth in scoring for the Broncos and controlled the team’s power play while scoring eleven goals (eight on the power play) along with 13 assists but a poor minus seven rating in 41 NCAA games. The big, mobile blueliner impressed the San Jose Sharks enough with his overall game this season to receive a free-agent contract from NHL team on March 14, 2012. He played seven games for the AHL Sharks where he scored one goal and one assist and a minus one rating to end the 2011-12 season.
2012-13: Tennyson appeared in four NHL games with the Sharks and skated for San Jose’s AHL affiliate in Worcester in his first pro season. He had an assist in his first game, a 3-2 win over Vancouver on April 1st, and finished the season +2 with 2 assists and 2 penalty minutes; averaging 15:42 minutes of ice time. He was with the Sharks during the NHL playoffs but did not play in any games. Tennyson played 60 games for Worcester. He scored 5 goals with 22 assists and was -6 with 44 penalty minutes. Worcester missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the Atlantic Division.
Tennyson has developed his game to a degree where he cannot just be considered an offensive defenseman. The big blueliner skates well, moves the puck with ease, and has tremendous hockey sense with and without the puck. His defensive reliability has grown as a result of becoming more apt at reading the play and making smart decisions.
He has a plus shot, and his outlet passes are strong and crisp. He brings some physicality to his game, but more would be an asset. His mobility and backwards skating are very good, and he shows great promise at one day anchoring a top-two pairing for the Sharks.
The smart defensemen will be invited to the San Jose camp, and will compete for a roster spot. With seven NHL defensemen currently signed for the Sharks, it seems safe to say he will start the year with Worcester. If injuries occur on the blue line, he will likely be the first call-up.