The San Jose Sharks concluded the 2008 NHL Entry Draft today with Director of Scouting Tim Burke and Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson making seven selections, trading up to get three of them.
Despite entering the draft with no selections until 117th overall which was at the end of the fourth round, Wilson managed to work the Sharks to the top of the third and fourth rounds without decimating the team’s draft options in the coming seasons.
San Jose wasted little time in the third round, executing a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the 62nd overall selection exchange for a fourth round selection (117th overall), a fifth round selection (147th overall) and a third round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. With the 62nd overall pick, San Jose selected center Justin Daniels
from Kent School in Connecticut. His twin brother, Drew, was also selected by the team in the seventh round (194th overall).
Daniels, a six-foot-one, 156-pound native of Queens, NY was ranked 100th overall among North American skaters. He notched 47 points (12 goals, 35 assists) in 25 games with Kent High School. Justin, along with Drew, were among the highest-rated prep school players by Central Scouting Service for the 2008 Draft. Justin is planning on playing for Sioux City (USHL) this coming season and both brothers are scheduled to attend Northeastern in the fall of 2009.
San Jose scout Jack Gardiner says of Justin:
“He’s a good skater and a very tough kid. Is an excellent playmaker and goal scorer with a tremendous shot.”
San Jose later acquired the 92nd overall selection (the first pick of the fourth round) from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a fourth round selection in 2009 and a fifth round selection in 2010 to take defenseman Samuel Groulx
from Quebec of the QMJHL.
Groulx, who was named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team in 2007-08, was ranked 76th among all North American skaters by Central Scouting Service. He finished seventh on the team, first among defensemen with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) and 100 penalty minutes in 70 games with Quebec.NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards says of Groulx:
"Samuel was often used on both the power-play and penalty kill units, showing good puck movement from the point and good body position in front of the net to prevent the opposition from gathering rebounds. His at his best when he plays a simple controlled style game, but needs to improve his overall strength and decision making."
Also in the fourth round, the Sharks acquired the 106th overall selection from Nashville in exchange for a seventh round selection (207th overall) and a fourth round selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (previously acquired from Toronto). With the 106th overall selection, San Jose selected goaltender Harri Sateri
from Tappara in the Finnish Jr. League. Sateri was the second-highest-rated European goaltender by Central Scouting Service and was ranked first at their mid-term rankings.
Sateri posted a 2.63 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage with two shutouts in 2006-07 with Tappara in 23 games and a 2.99 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage with one shutout in 34 games.
Despite being tagged as Finland's backup heading into the 2008 World Junior Championships, Sateri worked his way into a tandem role with Riku Helenius and earned the start in the crucial quarterfinal match against Team Canada en route to leading the Finns to a sixth-place showing at the tournament.
With the 146th selection in the fifth round, the Sharks selected defenseman Julien Demers
from the Ottawa 67s. Demers represented the Eastern Conference in the 2008 OHL All-Star Classic. He finished first among team defensemen and fifth overall with 33 points (five goals, 28 assists) and 94 penalty minutes in 65 games. He was ranked 83rd overall by Central Scouting Service among North American skaters and 64th at the mid-term point.
Demers adds to a growing group of current 67's players who have been drafted by San Jose, joining forwards Jamie McGinn (2nd round, 36th overall in 2006) and Logan Couture
(1st round, 9th overall in 2007).NHL Central Scouting's Chris Edwards says:
"Julien is a physically strong defenseman, who is solid on his skates, but he needs to improve his mobility and playmaking ability. He is at his best when he uses his strength to his advantage and keeps his puck handling simple."
Ottawa 67's head coach Brian Kilrea says:
"Quietly, Julien has become a top player in our league and is underrated by many. He is what every NHL team wants, a big, strong defensive defenseman who can move the puck. He is strong in the corners and in front of the net and can back up any challenge."
In the sixth round with the 177th selection overall, the Sharks selected freshman center Tommy Wingels
from Miami University (Ohio) in the CCHA, where he posted 29 points (15 goals, 14 assists) in 42 games and was a +10.
The Evanston, Illinois native was one of just 10 players on the squad to appear in all 42 games for the RedHawks who fell to fellow Sharks prospect Nick Petrecki
(1st round, 28th overall in 2007) and his Boston College Eagles squad in the 2008 NCAA Northeast Regional Final.
In the seventh round (186th overall), San Jose selected defenseman Jason Demers
(no relation to 5th round pick Julien Demers) from Victoriaville in the QMJHL. Jason Demers
posted 64 points (nine goals, 55 assists) along with 91 penalty minutes in 67 games this past season.
Jason was first among all QMJHL defensemen in scoring and second on his team. He also participated as a member of San Jose’s rookie tournament squad prior to the 2007-08 season. Demers impressed Burke and his staff enough to be drafted by San Jose after his impressive junior season.
Lastly with the 194th selection, the Sharks concluded the 2008 NHL Entry Draft by taking Drew Daniels
, also from Kent School in Connecticut. He was ranked 109th overall among North American skaters by Central Scouting Service. Skating on a line centered by his twin brother Justin, Drew posted 47 points (12 goals, 35 assists) in 25 games with Kent. The brothers will be headed to Northeastern in the fall of 2009.