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Big Changes for Pacific, But Not For Sharks

by Alison High / San Jose Sharks
The First Round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone and the Sharks organization is exactly the same as it was 24 hours ago. But the Pacific Division is drastically different.

Anaheim Ducks defender --- and well known Sharks nemesis --- Chris Pronger has been shipped to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for defenseman Luca Sbisa, forward Joffrey Lupul and two first-round picks.

Now who will fans boo when Anaheim comes to town?

Although the Sharks didn’t make a big move at Day One of the Draft, that doesn’t mean they weren’t offered any. Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson explained that the Sharks had the opportunity to move into the First Round, but they didn’t want to do it at the expense of their two Second Round picks.

“We felt that the players that we were looking at fell more into the area where our picks lie for tomorrow,” explained Wilson. “If you noticed, a lot of the teams in the second half of the first round moved out of there.”

The first eleven picks of the Draft went off without a hitch and in almost identical order as the Central Scouting Report. The New York Islanders took John Tavares with the first overall pick, Tampa Bay took Victor Hedman with the second and Colorado drafted Matt Duchene with the third.

“I think it was the most predictable draft that we’ve seen,” added Wilson.

The loudest and longest cheer of the night, however, came when the Montreal Canadiens selected Louis Leblanc with the 18th pick. That uproar was slightly louder than the hometown boos that echoed the Bell Centre when Toronto General Manager Brian Burke took to the podium.

Saturday the Sharks will start the Draft with two Second Round picks, one Fifth round pick and one Seventh round selection. But Wilson has said that he is looking to add to that mix.

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