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Sharks Hope to Capitalize in Fourth Round

by Alex Aragon / San Jose Sharks
With 10 days to go before the 2008 NHL Entry Draft at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Sharks Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson and his staff are busy preparing for a draft that many hockey experts believe will be deep, especially on the defensive side of the puck.

Relying heavily on the reports and recommendations by Director of Scouting Tim Burke, Wilson and the rest of the Sharks organization will methodically move through the draft looking to improve the team with every selection and decision they make.

As things sit currently, the Sharks are not scheduled to select until the fourth round, the 117th overall selection. Through various trades over the past calendar year, the Sharks have moved their first, second and third round picks in the upcoming draft.
  • The Sharks first round selection this year (26th overall) will go to the Buffalo Sabres as a result of the trade at the 2008 trade deadline that sent this pick along with right wing Steve Bernier to the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Brian Campbell and Buffalo’s seventh round pick in 2008.
  • The Sharks second round pick this year (57th overall) will go to the Washington Capitals as a result of the trade at the 2007 draft that allowed the Sharks to move up to the 28th overall spot to select defenseman Nick Petrecki from the Omaha Lancers (USHL).
  • The Sharks third round pick this year (87th overall) will go to the St. Louis Blues as a result of the trade at the 2007 draft that allowed the Sharks to move up to the 9th overall spot to select forward Logan Couture from the Ottawa 67’s (OHL).
Though San Jose may not pick until the fourth round, historically the Sharks have still been able to select key players at that stage in the draft.

In 2004, the Sharks selected forward Torrey Mitchell in the fourth round (126th overall) from The Hotchkiss School, a prestigious college preparatory school in Lakeville, Connecticut. Mitchell spent the next three seasons at the University of Vermont before turning pro in 2007. Mitchell had an impressive training camp in 2007 and earned a roster spot with the Sharks in 2007-08, appearing in all 82 regular season games, all 13 playoff games and was named the 2007-08 PlayStation “Sharks Rookie of the Year”.

Mitchell’s teammates, defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and goaltender Dimitri Patzold, were also fourth-round selections dating back to the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. That year, San Jose possessed the 106th and 107th overall picks selecting Ehrhoff, then Patzold in the fourth round.

Ehrhoff has emerged as one of San Jose’s top defensemen in his three full seasons with the team, scoring at least 20 points each year while patrolling the blueline. Meanwhile, Patzold is one of the top prospects in a Sharks organization that is deep in goaltending talent. Patzold split time backing up Vezina trophy nominee Evgeni Nabokov throughout the regular season in 2007-08.

In addition to the three current Sharks selected in the fourth round, San Jose also drafted Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala (90th overall in 1995) and New York Islanders defenseman Rob Davison (98th overall in 1998) in the fourth rounds of their respective drafts.

Below is a complete list of San Jose’s fourth round selections in the NHL Entry Draft:

Year Player Pick Team
2007   no pick in 4th round San Jose Sharks
2006 James DeLory 4th round, 98th overall San Jose Sharks
2005 Alex Stalock 4th round, 112th overall San Jose Sharks
2004 Torrey Mitchell 4th round, 126th overall San Jose Sharks
2003   no pick in 4th round San Jose Sharks
2002   no pick in 4th round San Jose Sharks
2001 Christian Ehrhoff 4th round, 106th overall San Jose Sharks
2001 Dimitri Patzold 4th round, 107th overall San Jose Sharks
2000   no pick in 4th round San Jose Sharks
1999 Willie Levesque 4th round, 111th overall San Jose Sharks
1998 Rob Davison 4th round, 98th overall San Jose Sharks
1998 Miroslav Zalesak 4th round, 104th overall San Jose Sharks
1997 Adam Colagiacomo 4th round, 82nd overall San Jose Sharks
1996 Matt Bradley 4th round, 102nd overall San Jose Sharks
1995 Vesa Toskala 4th round, 90th overall San Jose Sharks
1994 Vaclav Varada 4th round, 89th overall San Jose Sharks
1993 Alexander Osadchy 4th round, 80th overall San Jose Sharks
1992 Jan Caloun 4th round, 75th overall San Jose Sharks
1991 Kerry Toporowski 4th round, 67th overall San Jose Sharks

Other notable fourth round selections in the NHL Entry Draft include:

Year Player Pick Team
2000 Lubomir Visnovsky 4th round, 118th overall Los Angeles Kings
1999 Ryan Malone 4th round, 115th overall Pittsburgh Penguins
1998 Shawn Horcoff 4th round, 99th overall Edmonton Oilers
1997 Joe Corvo 4th round, 83rd overall Los Angeles Kings
1995 Alyn McCauley 4th round, 79th overall New Jersey Devils
1995 Marc Savard 4th round, 91st overall New York Rangers
1994 Milan Hejduk 4th round, 87th overall Quebec Nordiques
1992 Matthew Barnaby 4th round, 83rd overall Buffalo Sabres
1992 Jere Lehtinen 4th round, 88th overall Minnesota North Stars
1989 Sergei Fedorov 4th round, 74th overall Detroit Red Wings
1988 Mark Recchi 4th round, 67th overall Pittsburgh Penguins
1988 Tony Amonte 4th round, 68th overall New York Rangers
1988 Rob Blake 4th round, 70th overall Los Angeles Kings
1984 Tom Glavine* 4th round, 69th overall Los Angeles Kings
1983 Esa Tikkanen 4th round, 80th overall Edmonton Oilers
1982 Ulf Samuelsson 4th round, 67th overall Hartford Whalers
1980 Jari Kurri 4th round, 69th overall Edmonton Oilers
1979 Glen Anderson 4th round, 69th overall Edmonton Oilers
1972 Les Jackson 4th round, 64th overall Boston Bruins

* Glavine was also drafted by and subsequently played for the Atlanta Braves (Major League Baseball)

Though the Sharks could still end up with a first, second or third round selection on June 20-21 during the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Doug Wilson, Tim Burke and the entire Sharks staff will still look for the next NHL regular to come out of the fourth round.
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