It has been five months since the 2009 NHL Draft took place, and unless your draft picks were named Tavares, Hedman, Duchene, or Kane, you have probably already forgotten who your team selected.
This definitely rings true for the San Jose Sharks. In the 2009 Draft, the Sharks didn’t pick until late in the second round and although San Jose has had great success in finding gems in these later rounds, it is easy for players to quickly slip through the cracks if we are not constantly reminded about how they are performing in the leagues that they are currently playing.
Here is a quick look at how the San Jose Sharks 2009 Draft Class is currently performing in this young hockey season.
William Wrenn, D – Second Round, 43th Overall Pick
Drafted for his outstanding play with the U.S National Under-18 Team, Wrenn is currently playing in his first year with University of Denver Pioneers.
The Anchorage Alaska native notched an assist in his second game and through nine games this season has collected three assists. Wrenn’s two-way play propelled him up draft boards this past offseason and while three assists isn’t exactly mind blowing, it is a decent start for a freshman in a brand new system.
He was praised by the International Scouting Services (ISS) as being “a good puck-moving d-man who [is] also one of the best defensively” and as the year moves along, continued improvement in all areas of his game should be witnessed.
Taylor Doherty, D – Second Round, 57th Overall Pick
Praised by many for his bruising play and his tremendous size, the 6'8", 218 lbs defenseman received comparisons to Zdeno Chara during the 2009 draft process. Taylor currently laces his skates for the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and is on pace to have a career season.
In his first two seasons with the Frontenacs, Doherty posted 20 points per season in just over 60 games each year. This season through 24 games, he already has 11 points (1G, 10A) and more importantly coaches are claiming he has learned to use his body more effectively.
Many don’t believe that Taylor will be an offensive defenseman in the next level and according to HockeyProspect.com, he still needs work with his mobility in high traffic areas. But Doherty's size is a great asset to have and watching him develop will be a treat.
Philip Varone, C – Fifth Round, 147th Overall Pick
A draft pick that many believed would go in the top-100, Varone unexpectedly dropped in the Central Scouting Rankings from 90th overall in their mid-season rankings to 172nd in their final rankings. This didn’t stop Tim Burke and the Sharks front offense from jumping on Philip when their turn finally came around again in the fifth round.
A point per game producer with the London Knights of the OHL the two seasons before the 2009 draft, Varone appears to be on pace to do more of the same this season.
Through 18 games, Varone has notched 15 assists in route to collecting 18 points. In the month of November, Philip has eight points so far, including a four assist night last week. He has only been held off the score sheet in five games this year and is currently tied for third on the Knights in points.
Marek Viedensky, C – Seventh Round, 189th Overall Pick
A solid 2009 World Juniors Tournament put this young center on the San Jose Sharks radar during the 2009 draft. Centering one of the top lines for Team Slovakia, Viedensky tallied four assist in seven games and appeared quite composed.
Last season for the Prince George Cougars in the Western Hockey League (WHL) Marek also dazzled the competition, putting up 40 points (16G, 24A) in 59 games.
This season he appears to be off to an outstanding start, collecting 13 assists and 15 points in 19 games with the Cougars. He currently leads Prince George in assist, points, and +/-.
Dominik Bielke, D – Seventh Round, 207th Overall Pick
Receiving praise from several of the Sharks players and staff for his play in Germany, the Sharks used their final pick of the 2009 draft on this, as Tim Burke put it, "big kid."
Weighting in at 190 lbs with a 6-foot-3 frame, Bielke will have a ton of time to develop in Germany’s Two Bundesliga league with the Dresden Ice Lions.
Through 11 games this season, Dominik is third on the Ice Lions in penalty minutes with 43.
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