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Meier, Mueller among Sharks' top five prospects

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks have been stockpiling draft picks the past few years while trading older veterans such as Douglas Murray, Brad Stuart, Ryane Clowe and Michal Handzus.

General manager Doug Wilson has held on to his high picks and used them to add three first-round and four second-round choices over the past three drafts.

Here's a look at the Sharks' top five prospects, according to

1. Timo Meier, RW

How acquired: 1st round (No. 9), 2015 NHL Draft

Last season: Halifax, QMJHL: 61 GP, 44-46-90

The Sharks had a top-10 pick for the first time since taking forward Logan Couture at No. 9 in 2007 and used it to draft another skilled offensive player. Meier (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) was tied for fifth in goals and tied for 11th in points last season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The 18-year-old had a 27-game point streak Nov. 2-Feb. 26, when he scored 28 goals and had 51 points.

"Timo is an accomplished goal-scorer who had an excellent season in Halifax last year," Sharks director of scouting Tim Burke said. "A strong body, good skater and versatile player."

For the second time in three seasons, the Sharks used their first-round pick on a prospect from Switzerland. Two years ago, they chose Swiss defenseman Mirco Mueller at No. 18. Meier is a native of Herisau, Switzerland.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

2. Mirco Mueller, D

How acquired: 1st round (No. 18), 2013 draft

Last season: Sharks: 39 GP, 1-3-4; Worcester, AHL: 3 GP, 1-0-1

Mueller battled injuries and inconsistency last season as he adjusted to the NHL after spending most of the 2013-14 season with Everett of the Western Hockey League. At times he looked tentative and overmatched, but there were stretches where he showcased the skills that convinced the Sharks to draft him in the first round two years ago.

Mueller (6-3, 205) isn't flashy, but he moves the puck with safe, accurate passes and can skate his way out of trouble. He was more of a stay-at-home defenseman last year, but he has enough skill to develop into an offensive threat. Mueller turned 20 in March and should continue to get stronger.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16

3. Nikolay Goldobin, LW

How acquired: 1st round (No. 27), 2014 draft

Last season: HIFK Helsinki, Liiga (Finland): 38 GP, 11-10-21; Worcester, AHL: 9 GP, 3-2-5

In an NHL era known for dirty goals and scoring from the blue paint, Goldobin (5-11, 185) is a bit of throwback. The Russian prospect is a skilled skater and creative offensive threat. He scored 68 goals in two seasons with Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League, then 11 last season with Helsinki while facing more experienced and physical competition.

Goldobin turns 20 in October and is eligible to play for the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League this season. He could use more seasoning. Goldobin's work on the defensive end is far from NHL-ready, and he needs to get stronger.

Projected NHL arrival: 2015-16 (midseason)

4. Jeremy Roy, D

How acquired: 2nd round (No. 31), 2015 draft

Last season: Sherbrooke, QMJHL: 46 GP, 5-38-45

The Sharks paid a steep price to move up eight spots to draft Roy, giving the Colorado Avalanche the No. 39 choice this year, a second-round pick in 2016 and a sixth-round choice in 2017. But Wilson said he has zero buyer's remorse.

"He was one of the top defensemen in this draft class," Wilson said. "This is a guy we wanted badly, and I have no problem paying full value or even overpaying to get someone you really want."

Wilson said he expected Roy (6-0, 188) to be drafted in the first round. The 18-year-old was ranked sixth among North American defenseman by NHL Central Scouting. He averaged 0.93 points per game last season, second among QMJHL defensemen.

Projected NHL arrival: 2017-18

5. Rourke Chartier, C

How acquired: 5th round (No. 149), 2014 draft

Last season: Kelowna, WHL: 58 GP, 48-34-82

The Sharks have used late-round draft picks to land a wealth of talent, including seventh-round choices Joe Pavelski and Justin Braun and sixth-round pick Tommy Wingels. They may have struck late-round gold again with Chartier.

Chartier, 19, followed his 58-point season with Kelowna in 2013-14 with 82 points last season. He ranked third in the WHL in goals, tied for 14th in points and tied for first in game-winning goals. At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Chartier isn't very big. Then again, Pavelski weighs the same and is an inch taller, and led the Sharks in goals and points last season.

Projected NHL arrival: 2016-17

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