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The 2011 NHL Draft is in the book, and the San Jose Sharks came out of it ... a much better team. Not for anything that they actually did when it came to making selections, but for how they traded one of them (along with Devin Setoguchi and Charlie Coyle). Their first-round pick went to the Minnesota Wild, along with the aforementioned players, and received Brent Burns in return. The move strengthened a weak defensive unit, a unit that has sorely needed somebody like Burns for quite some time now.
It's no surprise that this doesn't really come into play when the Sharks get their draft graded. ESPN put out some grades yesterday, and without factoring in Burns, but with factoring in the lack of a first round pick, they ended up with a C+. It's an understandable grade based on the players drafted, but they all have a lot of tools and a good base to work with, so it's not like it was a lost cause. They do mention Matt Nieto and how the pick could pan out considering his vaunted status at point, but he remains boom or bust, and there definitely will not be any kind of boom for a few seasons.
Either way, check out what they had to say about the Sharks and their draft, and if you had questions about other teams, here's a link first.What do you think about ESPN's ranking, was it fair to leave off Burns, and if not, is C- fair based on the haul in rounds 2-7?
San Jose Sharks: C-
Befitting a team that senses the championship window closing, the Sharks dedicated their draft resources to getting help for next season. A great defense prospect wouldn't be as valuable as Brent Burns, so don't read too much into this grade. Matt Nieto in the second round is an interesting pick. Like a lot of the younger kids who go from the USNTDP to college, he had his struggles as a freshman, but the smooth-skating winger raised his play by late season.
Sonier's Prime Picks: Like Nashville, with no first round pick, they found a player who at one time was considered a top prospect. After what many call an average freshman year, Nieto will bounce back and his skills and scoring touch will become more noticeable as he does have a solid work ethic to his game. Sean Kuraly from the USHL has big upside with size, skating and net-drive all a part of his game.
The virtual coin toss of the second round of the 2011 NHL Draft is now over, and the San Jose Sharks are a better team than they were when it started. Rather than a first-round pick, the team made a big trade with the Minnesota Wild, sending along said first-round pick (28th overall), Charlie Coyle and Devin Setoguchi in exchange for Brent Burns and a 2012 second-round pick. So if you lot that in with their draft, they had themselves a pretty good haul.
If you don't lot that in, things are about as murky as they always seem when it comes to guys who are quite a way away from contributing. That being said, it would appear as though the Sharks went after the kinds of guys they usually target, and there's some promising names in here. Let's get to looking at the prospects selected on day two of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. We'll have more full breakdowns of each pick later, but for now, a quick look:
Matthew Nieto, Forward (47th overall) - This was a pick that needed to be made, especially with Charlie Coyle being traded to the Twins. The Sharks need more forward prospects, and Nieto most definitely fits the bill. We had a full update on that pick before.
Justin Sefton, Defenseman (89th overall) - Sefton is one of those extremely physical guys that Doug Wilson likes. He was initially regarded as somebody who could go earlier than he did, especially a couple years ago, but his hype did reach pretty high levels at one point. If the Sharks can set him right and he performs at levels proportional to his hype, he'll be a steal.
Sean Kuraly, Forward (133rd overall) - Kuraly continues the trend of physicality, and he remains a solid forward prospect. In one interview in particular, he noted that he models his game after Mike Fisher:
I try to model my game after someone like [Nashville Predators centre] Mike Fisher," adds Kuraly, whose parents, Jane and Rick, the latter a Miami of Ohio alum, originally hail from the Toronto area. "I watch him and I like the way he plays both ends of the ice - hard, physical and a character guy."
Daniil Sobchenko, Center (166th overall) - This is a vintage Sharks pick, because Sobchenko is a center who really can do everything, and aside from the fact that he is really raw, you have to feel good about this one. His fundamentals are top notch, the adjustment to higher levels of play will obviously take time, but he won't have to re-learn many of mechanics like passing and stability.
Dylan Demelo, Defenseman (179th overall) - Another one of those offensive defensemen, Demelo is a guy who plays safe who may need to step it up at his current level and take some more risks with the puck to really make an impression.
Colin Blackwell, Center (194th overall) - Blackwell is incredibly productive ... at his level of play. Still, you can't teach the kind of instincts he has, and anyone as productive as he has been is a guy you take a flyer out on in the seventh round.
The first day of the 2011 NHL Draft saw the Sharks make a big splash when they traded away Devin Setoguchi mere days after signing him to a contract extension. Although it hurt their wing depth, the move allowed them to drastically improve their defensive depth by adding Brent Burns.
Now that day two of the NHL Draft is here, the Sharks quickly set to work adding back some depth at the wing position by drafting Boston University left winger Matthew Nieto with the 47th pick overall in the second round. Nieto just completed his freshman season at BU with ten goals and 13 assists and appearing in all 39 games for the Terriers. ESPN's scouts describe Nietto as a great skater who can be a play-maker but lacks strength and consistency.
Nieto grew up in Long Beach, California where he got his hockey start playing roller hockey as a kid. As he's grown up he's played for Team USA in the Under-18 World Championships (2009 and 2010) and was in the evaluation camp for the 2011 World Junior Championships. He played his minor hockey in California before heading to Connecticut for a year of school and then the US National Team Development Program in Michigan.
Here are a couple quick YouTube videos of goals he scored against Boston College. For more in-depth discussion on Nietto and the Sharks 2011 NHL Draft class, head over to Fear The Fin:
On day one of the 2011 NHL Draft, the San Jose Sharks made an aggressive trade that clearly said "we're not going to settle for less than the best." The Sharks could have resorted to free agency for their second defenseman, they could have kept Devin Setoguchi on the team and he would have been a productive scorer and a positive resource for the offense for the majority of the season. The Sharks could have fielded a very similar team and had a decent shot of making it all the way, just like they did this year.
But general manager Doug Wilson is not going to be complacent. This team has been too good these last few years to be getting beat in anything less than a full-on, seven-game war. So they made moves, and sent Devin Setoguchi, along with Charlie Coyle and the 28th overall pick to the Minnesota Wild. In return, the Wild sent over defenseman Brent Burns and a second-round pick in 2012. Setoguchi and Coyle were both first round picks, and in fact, Coyle was selected only last year. So the Sharks sent three first-round picks as payment for Burns.
Did they overpay? Well, we have to break things down a little bit.
The Wild aren't too far from being a legitimate playoff team, but they're not there yet. They need these guys: the developmental forward, Setoguchi who will get an increased role there, and the 28th pick. They need all of that. Minnesota has to feel, how you say wild about the way things went for them. Usually when a team is that stoked about something, some other team got hosed.
I don't believe the Sharks did, however. Losing Setoguchi is a crushing blow to the fanbase, and there will be more on that later this morning, but he was inconsistent and the Sharks don't immediately need what it is he brings to the table. They are a playoff team and they are searching for that elusive Stanley Cup right now. Rather than tweak the third and fourth lines, they finally needed that #1 caliber defenseman who could play #2 behind Dan Boyle. Burns is that in every way, shape and form.
Not to mention the fact that multiple teams were trading up, eluding to the fact that the talent was quickly evaporating, and once it got to twenty-eight overall, that pick wasn't as valuable as it appears on face value. That pick was just there to get the ball rolling.
The Sharks lost Setoguchi and a promising forward prospect who was a few years away from being ready. They gained a guy they've needed for years who will immediately contribute to their playoff efforts. The only way San Jose can look back on this as overpaying is if Burns walks after the one year remaining on his contract.
The San Jose Sharks just gave up the equivalent of three first-round picks to the Minnesota Wild during the 2011 NHL Draft. Devin Setoguchi, who just inked a three-year extension with the team for $9 million, was sent over along with Charlie Coyle and their 2011 first-round pick to the Wild in exchange for defenseman Brent Burns and a Minnesota second-round pick.
Setoguchi was a first-round pick back in 2007 and has been a solid contributor for the Sharks offense, especially during this past season's playoff run. Coyle was the team's first-round selection (at 28th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, and was the team's best forward prospect. At face value, it seems like a lot to give up for one player, especially a player with one year left on his contract. It's an aggressive approach to improve an area of the team that has suffered for some time, and while losing Setoguchi hurts the team (and the fanbase), something had to be done if they're to make it past the Western Conference Finals.
Burns, to his credit, is a highly-gifted defenseman. He's also not a liability on offense, and had 46 points for the Wild during the 2010-2011 season. There will be more on Burns in this stream shortly, but don't forget to head over to Fear The Fin, our San Jose Sharks blog, and their live draft thread to discuss.
The 2011 NHL Draft gets underway at 4:00pm pacific when the Edmonton Oilers make the first selection. VERSUS, one of the home networks of the NHL, will be broadcasting four hours of first round coverage as the teams look for that next great talent. Prior to VERSUS' draft coverage, the NHL Network will provide an hour-long preview show to get you ready. If you miss out on VERSUS' coverage of the draft, the NHL Network will provide a recap show at 8:00pm pacific and re-air it several times through the evening. The NHL Network will also re-air the first round at 11:00pm and 4:00am.
The NHL Network will then provide exclusive coverage of the second through seventh rounds of the Draft. If you've got Comcast in the Bay Area, NHL Network in HD is channel 728 and channel 419 in standard definition. VERSUS HD is channel 723 and VERSUS SD is channel 81. There is no word as of yet whether either VERSUS or NHL Network will be providing a live online stream for the draft. If you'll be away from a TV, I recommend checking the NHL Network website and NBCSports.com (working with VERSUS) on either day of the draft.
The San Jose Sharks will be selecting 28th in the first round, which means fans will be waiting for a little bit before the Sharks come up. They then own five picks over the remaining six rounds, with none in the fifth or seventh rounds. For more on the Sharks 2011 draft picks, click here. For more in-depth discussion of the Sharks, head over to Fear The Fin.
When there's a player that the San Jose Sharks' general manager wants: he generally gets him. Doug Wilson is set to run San Jose's draft on Friday, and armed with the 28th overall pick, we've managed to narrow down his potential targets to ... well actually, we've been unable to narrow anything down thus far. Last year, the Sharks held the very same 28th pick in the first round, and they used it to select Charlie Coyle, who remains a decent prospect, but obviously is a long way from contributing at the next level.
It's more likely that the Sharks will be active in free agency this offseason, as opposed to an aggressive approach in the draft, but you never know which player the team is after. Logan Couture was the guy they had their eyes on in 2007, and he's now a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy. Wilson made a couple trades to get to the ninth spot to draft Couture, eventually giving up Toronto's first- and second-round picks to the St. Louis Blues after a trade involving a couple players with the aforementioned Maple Leafs.
Couture had a great season, and looked especially good when paired up with Ryane Clowe, and made his presence known in the playoffs, scoring seven goals and fourteen points. They also moved up to draft Devin Setoguchi in 2005, jumping four spots to grab him eighth. The Sharks have plans to get Setoguchi re-signed again this offseason, but both sides are looking for a good deal.
These have been two great players thus far, and if the Sharks like somebody in the 2011 draft as much as they liked these two? They'd trade up in a heartbeat. It's much more likely, however, that the Sharks will be targeting some kind of defenseman in free agency.
The 2011 NHL Entry Draft is set to begin on Friday, and the Sharks hold the 28th overall pick in the first round. Now, to prefae this piece, the Sharks will probably take whatever they can get at 28. It very much is a BPA (best player available) drafting strategy. That's the one they should be going with, too ... the top-flight guys will all be gone, and the best a team can usually hope for when they're a perennial playoff staple like the Sharks are is a boom-or-bust kind of guy. That being said, all things being equal, where would they go?
Conventional wisdom says that the team would look to upgrade its defensive unit, currently led by Dan Boyle. It's the weakest aspect of their team, which doesn't mean it's bad by any stretch of the imagination (the Sharks are consistently one of the best teams in the league, after all) but a team looking to continue dominance needs depth and moving parts. So defense makes sense on just about every level, but given the potential lack of talent in that regard at 28, where would the Sharks then look?
Walter McLaughlin of The Hockey Writers insists that looking for depth at either wing position could be a good bet. He makes a good point when they note that, while the Sharks are as solid as any team at the position when it comes to the players who see the ice each game, their organizational depth leaves something to be desired. He also goes on to list the guys within the organization that the Sharks have up-and-coming, and it's not a very impressive list. It's a good read, so head over there.
It's a good point that he raises, the Sharks are as dominant as they are because of their wing play, they most definitely need to try and grow some more talent. Doug Wilson is active on the phones, and with a good amount of cap space to work with this offseason, the Sharks probably don't need to draft some wings this year, but it remains an intriguing option. The point might be moot though, considering the likely BPA strategy they'll employ. So really, toss a coin. A 28-sided coin.
The 2011 NHL Draft kicks off on Friday evening with the San Jose Sharks owning the 28th overall pick in the first round, along with five other picks in the remaining six rounds. The Sharks made three deals over the last twelve months that resulted in a loss of two picks and a gain of one, thus leaving a net loss of one pick.
The Sharks gave up their fifth round pick in the trade to acquire Ben Eager in January. In last year's NHL Draft the Sharks dealt their 2011 seventh round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in order to acquire the Penguins seventh rounder in 2010. The Sharks used that pick to add Chris Crane. The Sharks added a 2011 draft pick in February of 2010 when they traded Jody Shelley to the New York Rangers. The Sharks acquired a sixth round pick in the trade but would have seen it upgraded to a fifth round pick had Shelley re-signed with the Rangers in the offseason. Since he elected to sign with the Flyers, the pick remained in the sixth round.
As things currently stand, the Sharks will make the following picks starting Friday:
2011 NHL Entry Draft - San Jose Sharks - Draft Picks
Round 1: No. 28 overall
Round 2: No. 59 overall
Round 3: No. 88 overall
Round 4: No. 118 overall
Round 6: No. 165 overall (from NY Rangers)
Round 6: No. 178 overall
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.
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