The life line of a strong hockey franchise is found in the draft. Over the years, the San Jose Sharks have shown the hockey world that the best way to build a team is through the annual National Hockey League Entry Draft.
Six of their top nine forwards -- Patrick Marleau
, Devin Setoguchi, Ryane Clowe
, Logan Couture
, Joe Pavelski
and Torrey Mitchell
– are draft picks. In addition, three of the top six defensemen from the 2010-11 season -- Douglas Murray
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
and Jason Demers
– were taken in the Entry Draft.
In addition, draftees such as Jamie McGinn and Justin Braun
made contributions during the regular season and postseason and have worked hard towards earning a roster spot.
When the 2011 NHL Entry Draft begins next Friday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., San Jose will have picks in five of the seven rounds and six overall choices. They have their own picks in the first, second, third, fourth and sixth rounds. The Sharks also have an additional sixth round pick which came from the Rangers two years ago in the Jody Shelley deal.
San Jose doesn’t have picks in the fifth (to Atlanta in the Ben Eager trade) and seventh (to Pittsburgh, which gave San Jose a seventh rounder last year) rounds.
For the third time in five years, the Sharks will select 28th overall. Their slot is based on the Sharks having the better regular season record over Eastern Conference finalist Tampa Bay.
San Jose’s consistent on-ice success has continuously placed them at the bottom of the draft order. Despite being at a selection disadvantage, the Sharks have found some talent at the 28th spot.
|Charlie Coyle of the United States is the 28th pick by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the NHL National Hockey League draft at Staples Center in Los Angeles Friday, June 25, 2010. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) |
Forward Charlie Coyle (2010) had 26 points in 37 games as a freshman at Boston University. Coyle also helped Team U.S.A. win bronze at the 2011 World Jr. Championship. Defenseman Nick Petrecki
(2007) has been progressing through the Sharks system in the same manner as Murray. Forward Shean Donovan (1993) wound up playing in 951 games for seven teams and went to the 2004 Stanley Cup Final with Calgary.
Current NHLers selected at 28th overall include Anaheim’s Corey Perry (2010-11 Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner with 50 goals) and the Kings Justin Williams (selected by Philadelphia in 2000).
Over the years, San Jose has worked very hard to maximize their draft pick. For example, they chose Jonathan Cheechoo 29th overall in 1998. He won the 2006 “Rocket” Richard Trophy with a franchise-record 56 goals. The Sharks have also shown a knack at grabbing gems in later rounds such as Clowe (sixth round, 2001), Pavelski (seventh, 2003), Murray (eighth, 1999), Demers (seventh, 2008) and Mitchell (fourth, 2004).
And don’t forget the Sharks didn’t hold the ninth (2007) or the eighth (2005) overall picks when they moved up to select Couture and Setoguchi.
What will happen in 2011? Drafting is an inexact science, but know that the Sharks will have invested a lot of time into every move they make next week.