When the average hockey fan thinks of the San Jose Sharks, they tend to think high-profile trades. But while Joe Thornton, Brent Burns, Antti Niemi, Dan Boyle and Martin Havlat were all acquired via headlining trade deals, on an average game night, the other 75 percent of San Jose players all arrived in San Jose courtesy of the NHL draft.
That’s a pretty impressive statistic when you stop and think about it.
Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture, Joe Pavelski, Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Matt Nieto, Andrew Desjardins, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Brad Stuart, Jason Demers, Scott Hannan and Alex Stalock are all San Jose Sharks draft picks.
The 2014 NHL draft doesn’t have the excitement and anticipation of the elite talent eligible for the 2015 draft, when teams will inevitably be falling all over themselves (and down the standings) for the opportunity to select the latest wunderkind, Connor McDavid. But the lack of obvious standout talent means that teams lower in the draft have legitimate opportunities to draft players whose value is still yet to be realized but may eventually blossom into quality NHL players.
When analyzing prospects for San Jose in the upcoming 2014 NHL draft, it’s important to consider their position in the draft. The Sharks are not going to make the first pick, so there’s no sense is touting Sam Reinhart or Aaron Ekblad, the two players at the top of nearly every draft rankings thus far.
Instead, San Jose will likely be down in the bottom third of the first round, in the early to mid-20s, if things continue the way they have thus far for San Jose. So rather than fantasizing about unattainable talent, this article will examine more realistic candidates for the Sharks.