With all the exciting young forwards the Sharks have brought into the organization in the past few years, it seems like a few can get lost in the shuffle. Just because forward Noah Rod is playing in Switzerland, doesn't mean he is undeserving of some attention.
Despite being drafted by the Sharks back in 2014, in the second round (53rd overall), Rod is still only 20 years old. Although he hasn't had the showy numbers some of the other Sharks prospects have had, it's important to remember just how early into his development as a hockey player he still is.
Playing in his third season in the Swiss National League A, the 6-foot, 188-pound forward has put up a solid 19 points (8-11=19) in 38 games played for HC Genève-Servette. That shows some improvement from last season's 16 points in 44 games, and is miles ahead of his 18-year-old season of 4 points in 38 games.
"Rod struggled through a rough 2015-16 season with Genève-Servette that was a step back for his development after a strong showing at the WJC. He's had some problems staying healthy since being drafted by the Sharks, but his blend of shot, size, and grit could help San Jose in the future." - Zachary Devine, Dobber Prospects
Grit is certainly a big part of Rod's game. He has 71 penalty minutes in 38 games this season, but it's important to note 47 of those PIMs came in 10 "friendly" exhibition match-ups.
"Rod is a feisty forward with some offensive instincts and the ability to get under the opposition's skin. He does not have the pure technical and skating skills of some of the other young prospects from Switzerland and will likely need to add strength and bulk to his frame to play his game at the NHL level. But his combination of skill, drive, and truculence - plus the fact that he's willing to do anything to help his team win - suggest some upside." - Hockey's Future
Where Rod really seems to shine is on the big stage. He had 4 points in 6 playoff games with HC Genève-Servette last season. He was twice named one of Switzerland's best three players at the World Juniors, where he put up 12 points in 12 games. In fact, if you combine all his International Junior experience, he has 37 points in his last 40 games.
Rod recently signed a 4-year contract with HC Genève-Servette, but the contract includes an NHL out-clause. He has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Sharks organization, but with all the forwards passing through the organization recently, he could certainly fill a role with the Barracuda in the near future, or perhaps even with the Sharks down the line.
Click here for the current Sharks prospect report.