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.