It's smaller in allure, but the 2011 NHL Draft is right around the corner (literally right around the corner of the 2011 NBA Draft, which is set to begin on the 23rd) and the San Jose Sharks are gearing up to get some solid depth throughout the organization. The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is set to begin on Friday the 24th and will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Day two is the following day and should wrap things up.
Armed with the 28th overall pick in the first round, the Sharks will be looking to draft the best player available. If that player happens to be a defenseman, they'd be elated, but at that point, there's usually some high level wings that have fallen while the other positions are snatched up. Being a perennial playoff staple, the draft is a little less exciting for Sharks fans, seeing as how the 28th pick isn't exactly premium. It's not like the NFL where teams will clamor excessively to get back into the first round or the top end of the second to grab talent that's ready to go, these guys are a ways away.
But the Sharks definitely need some more depth. They're in a position to continue their Pacific Division dominance for a long time, or at the very least, in a good position to hold the fort down in the event of another team (like the young Los Angeles Kings) progressing and growing. Being situated to dominate for years to come is great and all, but smart drafting is important to provide that organizational depth. Going with the best player available absolutely will be the strategy for general manager Doug Wilson, at this point it's "wait and see" in regards to whether or not somebody will fall. Trading up doesn't appear to be an option at this point.
We'll have wall-to-wall coverage with some positional breakdowns over the next four days leading up to coverage and analysis of each Sharks pick. Be sure to follow along with our Sharks blog, Fear The Fin.