Drafting Skills: San Jose Sharks

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

San Jose Sharks

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Minnesota in the package that sent out Charlie Coyle, but brought in Brent Burns. HUGE win for the Sharks. Burns has been a force for the Sharks in recent years. The pick they gave up turned into Zack Phillips who has been a big bust for the Wild, as he hasn’t played an NHL game and spent this season in the Swedish Elite league.

Round 2 – Matthew Nieto (LW) 47th overall – Nieto was put on waivers this season after struggling to adapt to the NHL game, and with the Sharks having already a solid group of forwards. He was claimed by the Avalanche and will receive a shot there, with Colorado being the weakest team in the NHL this season. That being said, Nieto only managed 11 points in 43 games after being claimed. Not what the Sharks were hoping for out of this pick.

Round 3 – Justin Sefton (D) 89th overall –  Sefton is definitely a bust, as he played the last three years in the OUAA, after only ever suiting up for 2 ECHL games.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Tomas Hertl (C) 17th overall – Hertl has shown flashes of brilliance early in his career, but struggles to find consistency. He was injured most of the year, and managed only 22 points in 49 games. Not what you’re hoping for from a top 20 pick. There have been plenty of players taken after Hertl that have performed better for their clubs. He’s gotten plenty of time with some of the games top players as well, with one of the best playmakers ever in Joe Thornton. He’s still only 23, and is by no means a bust, but the Sharks were likely hoping for more from him thus far.

Round 2 – Chris Tierney (C) 55th overall – Tierney made the jump to the NHL fairly quickly, playing half of the season in 2014-2015. He’s played a solid bottom-6 role for San Jose, and has played it well. As a centre, he’s had the unfortunate luck of being behind Joe Thornton, Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and others in the Sharks lineup all this years, limiting him mostly to 4th line duty. He has performed well in that role, and should get more ice-time in the next couple of years. He scored 89 points in his last OHL season, so he does have a scoring knack that he could potentially unlock at the NHL level.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Panthers in a group of picks that gave them their second round selection in 2011 (Nieto). The pick then moved onto the Flyers, who took Shayne Gostisbehere with this pick. Gostisbehere made his breakout in the NHL last year, putting up 46 points in only 64 games. It’s fun to imagine what he’d be like playing the PP with Burns.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Mirco Mueller (D) 18th overall – Not a great pick here by the Sharks. Mueller never scored more than 31 points in his 2 years in the WHL, and only has 6 points in 54 NHL games. Being a d-man is not all about points, however he hasn’t impressed all that much at the AHL level either. He finished the year a -3, and only suited up in 4 NHL games. Tough to see Mueller ever being an impact player at the NHL, unlike fellow d-man Shea Theodore who was taken 8 picks later and looks like he will develop into a top-4 defender in the next year or two.

Round 2 – Gabryel Boudreau (LW) 49th overall – Another bust for the Sharks. Boudreau is currently playing in the OUAA (Ontario University Athletic Association), after only appearing in 12 ECHL games.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to the Red Wings, as a package of their 1st round in this draft to move up two spots to take Mueller. The Wings took Tyler Bertuzzi with this pick, who has grown quite a bit since being drafted and had a great year in the AHL this year. The Wings also took Mantha with the Sharks pick in the 1st round, so this is tough to swallow for the Sharks.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Nikolay Goldobin (LW) – 27th overall – Goldobin was traded this year to Vancouver to bring in Jannik Hansen. Goldobin has shown big flashes of offensive brilliance early in his career, both in junior and at the AHL level. In his first two seasons in the AHL he put up 85 points in 106 games. He’ll have plenty of shot at making the big club in Vancouver next year, as they look to again be one of the weaker teams in the league. Hansen only scored 2 goals in the 15 games he played for San Jose, before only adding 1 assist in 6 playoff games. This was not what the Sharks were hoping for when bringing him in, as they ultimately fell to the Oilers in round 1.

Round 2 – Julius Bergman (D) – 46th overall – Bergman just finished off his second full season in the AHL. He finished with 30 points in 64 games, which is good for a young d-man. He also added 7 assists in 10 playoff games. There will some room on the blueline in the next few years for San Jose, and if Bergman continues to progress he could be a solid addition. He’ll need to work on his defensive zone play, but seems to be figuring out the offensive side early on in his career.

Round 2 – Noah Rod (F) 53rd overall – Rod played this year again in the Swiss-A league, adding 14 points in 27 games. He doesn’t appear to be a future NHL player, as he only played in 2 AHL games before going back to Switzerland. Ideally, he would stay in North America and get used to the game, but if he can’t stick here now, I’m not sure he ever will.

Round 3 – Alex Schoenborn (RW) 72nd overall – Here is another pick that looks like it will miss for the Sharks. Shoenborn played parts of this season in the AHL, but finished in the ECHL. He only managed 4 points in 29 AHL games, and 2 in 6 ECHL games. Hard to imagine the 21 year old improving enough to make the NHL at this point.

Round 3 – Dylan Sadowy (LW) 81st overall – He was traded to Detroit last offseason for a 3rd round pick in the 2017 draft. Sadowy is another pick who played parts of this season in the AHL and ECHL, with 6 points in 38 AHL games and 4 in 6 ECHL games. Sadowy produced well in junior, scoring 36 points in 28 games in his final season, however pro hockey is a different beast.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Timo Meier (RW) 9th overall – Meier played games both at the NHL and AHL level this season, finishing the year with the big club. He only managed 6 points in 34 NHL games, but he possesses a high skill level that should see him excel in the future. He was picked right before Mikko Rantanen, who managed 20 goals this season in his first full year. There’s no doubt Meier is capable of that as well, especially surrounded by the skill he is on San Jose.

Round 2 – Jeremy Roy (D) 31st overall – Roy only played in 10 QMJHL games this season before being injured. He scored 34 points in 45 games in his previous year, after putting up 40+ in the previous two seasons. He has all the tools of a good offensive defenseman, but will need work in his own end before making the jump. He’ll likely start next season in the AHL, which will give him plenty of time to grow his game. He is likely a future NHL player, once he can round out his defensive game.

Round 3 – Mike Robinson (G) 86th overall – It’s always hard to judge goalies this early on. Robinson had good numbers this year in the North American Hockey League, with a SV% of 0.916 and a GAA of 2.99. He’ll likely need a few more years of development before we can truly see what there is here.


Overall, there hasn’t been any ‘WOW’ picks by the Sharks. They’ve missed on a lot of their middle rounders. They’re starting to get a little old, with the likes of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau likely on their last legs. They’ll need to improve on their drafting in the next couple of years in hopes of maintaining their standings positions.


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