Breaking Through

The 2023-24 season saw San Jose Sharks continue to retool their roster, setting itself up with a group primed to grow together and set a winning foundation in the years to come.

The Sharks saw younger players seize full-time NHL roles, with William Eklund and Fabian Zetterlund each taking big steps forward, posting 45 points and 44 points, respectively. Zetterlund led San Jose with 24 goals on the year while Eklund finished second on the club with 16 goals.

Thomas Bordeleau and Henry Thrun continued their development, splitting time between the Sharks and Barracuda throughout the year, with each member of the duo recording their first NHL goal and seeing their roles with the NHL roster grow over the course of the season.

Five skaters - Collin Graf, Ty Emberson, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Magnus Chrona, and Georgi Romanov - made their respective NHL debuts over the course of the campaign while defenseman Jack Thompson, acquired March 7 via trade from Tampa Bay, skated in his second and third career NHL games.


Young NHL Players

William Eklund, Height: 5’11”, Age: 21, Acquired: 1st round of 2021 NHL Entry Draft (7th overall), 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks

William Eklund’s first full NHL season saw him solidify himself as an offensive catalyst with the Sharks. He finished the 2023-24 campaign netting 16 goals and 29 assists in 80 games, leading the club in game-winning goals (5) and finishing second in points (45). Eklund logged the third-most points and fourth-most goals by any skater from the 2021 NHL Draft class over the course of the season. He became the fifth-youngest player in Sharks history to record a hat trick (Apr. 6 vs. STL) and posted a 10-game point streak at SAP Center, falling two shy of matching the club’s record of 12 (Brent Burns; Nov. 25, 2017-Feb. 8, 2018). Eklund was named the club’s Rookie of the Year by Bay Area media during the 2022-23 season. He made his NHL debut in 2021-22, becoming the fifth youngest player to ever debut for San Jose (Patrick Marleau, 18-16; Vlastimil Kroupa, 18-162; Jeff Friesen, 18-168; Milan Michalek, 18-306).


Fabian Zetterlund, Height: 5’11”, Age: 24, Acquired: Acquired by San Jose along with Andreas Johnsson, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Nikita Okhotiuk, a first-round round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft (Quentin Musty) as well as a second-round pick and a seventh-round pick in 2024 New Jersey in exchange for Timo Meier, Timur Ibragimov, Scott Harrington, Santeri Hatakka, Zachary Emond and a 5th round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft on Feb. 26, 2023 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks

Fabian Zetterlund had a breakout season for the San Jose Sharks. The Swedish forward set career highs in games played (82), goals (24), assists (20), and points (44). Zetterlund led the club in goals and games played, the only Sharks skater to appear in all 82 games in his first full season in San Jose and was one of 18 NHL skaters 24 years old or younger to have at least 24 goals on the campaign. He reached the 40-point mark with an assist on Apr. 7 against the Arizona Coyotes, becoming the third Shark on the season to reach the point milestone. He rounded out the season collecting 12 points (6g, 6a) in his final 14 games. Zetterlund debuted last year with the club on Feb. 28, 2023, against the Montreal Canadiens after being acquired from the New Jersey Devils.


New & Developing Players – NHL & AHL Experience

Henry Thrun, Height: 6’2”, Age: 23, Acquired: Acquired by San Jose from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft on Feb. 28, 2023, 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda

Henry Thrun began the season with San Jose and was part of the Opening Day roster on Oct. 12 against the Vegas Golden Knights. After the first two games of the season, Thrun was reassigned to the San Jose Barracuda (AHL) where he was able to play a starring role on the team’s blue line while fine-tuning his game for the professional ranks. He stayed with the ‘Cuda from Oct. 20 through Dec. 8. During his time with the Barracuda (18 games), Thrun put up six points (1g, 5a) with 10 penalty minutes. He was recalled on Dec. 9 and remained in the NHL, skating in 51 games with San Jose. He was voted 2023-24 Sharks Rookie of the Year by Bay Area media. Thrun led all Sharks rookies in games played (51) and ranked tied for seventh among NHL rookie blueliners in goals (3). He is one of three NHL rookie defensemen to have skated at least 25 minutes in a game four or more times last season, achieving the feat with Brock Faber (Minnesota Wild) and Luke Hughes (New Jersey Devils). Thrun scored his first NHL goal on Jan. 9 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


Thomas Bordeleau, Height: 5’10”, Age: 22, Acquired: 2nd round of the 2020 NHL Draft (7th pick, 38th overall), 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda

Thomas Bordeleau spent time in both the NHL and the AHL but finished the year strong with San Jose. Since his final recall of the season, he registered nine points (5g, 4a) to wrap up his campaign. Before his recall (Mar. 6), Bordeleau ranked seventh with the Barracuda with 25 points (11g, 14a) in 35 games. He recorded his first career NHL goal on Oct. 14, 2023, San Jose’s lone goal, in a shootout loss against the Colorado Avalanche. Per NHL PR, he became the 10th-ever Texas-born player to lit the lamp in the NHL. He matched his single-season career high in assists (5) on Apr. 15 at Edmonton Oilers. He logged a career-high four takeaways in the contest against the St. Louis Blues on Apr. 6, tied for the most by a Shark last season.


Ty Emberson, Height: 6’2”, Age: 24, Acquired: Claimed off waivers from the New York Rangers on Sept. 30, 2023, 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks

Ty Emberson’s 2023-24 season was his first in the NHL. The native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin made his NHL debut on Oct. 21 at the Nashville Predators where he clocked 13:10 time on ice with two shots on goal, three hits, and two blocked shots. His final game of the year was on Feb. 29 against the Anaheim Ducks before he was sidelined for the remainder of the season due to a lower-body injury. In his final 18 games before being sidelined, Emberson put up nine points (1g, 8a) with six assists coming in his last 13 games played (0g, 6) from Nov. 11 through Feb. 29.

Cuda Seasoning

Playing and developing in the American Hockey league is a critical part of the development process to lay the foundation for future success in the NHL. Shakir Mukhamadullin and Magnus Chrona each played in their first full American Hockey League season, with the defenseman selected for the AHL All-Star Classic and Chrona gaining valuable experience at the AHL level. Among others top Barracuda players, Danil Gushchin, selected for the All-Star Classic but unable to play due to injury, posted another strong season, clicking at nearly a point-per-game clip with 54 points (20 goals, 34 assists) in 56 games. Ethan Cardwell started his professional career by leading the Barracuda with 23 goals, finishing with 43 points in 71 games. He finished fourth among league rookies in goal-scoring.


Shakir Mukhamadullin, Height: 6’4”, Age: 22, Acquired: From New Jersey on Feb. 26, 2023, including Andreas Johnsson, Fabian Zetterlund, Nikita Okhotiuk, a conditional 1st round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, a conditional 2nd and 7th round pick in 2024 for Timo Meier, Timur Ibragimov, Scott Harrington, Santeri Hatakka, Zachary Emond and a 5th round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft, 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda

Shakir Mukhamadullin made his NHL debut the San Jose Sharks last season. He was recalled on Feb. 25 and skated in his first career NHL game on Feb. 27 against the Buffalo Sabres. He recorded his first point – an assist – in his third game with the club on Jan. 31 at the Anaheim Ducks. Mukhamadullin played in 39 games with the San Jose Barracuda before his call-up to the NHL, ranking tied for 10th among AHL defensemen and tied for fourth among all 'Cuda skaters in points (26 – five goals, 21 assists). Mukhamadullin spent the remainder of the year with the Barracuda, skated in 55 games, and led the club in points (34) and assists (27) among defensemen. He was named Barracuda Team MVP and Barracuda Prospect of the Year on Apr. 15 and was presented the opportunity to showcase his skills and represent the ‘Cuda at the AHL All-Star Classic on Feb. 4-5 at Tech CU Arena.

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Danil Gushchin, Height: 5’10”, Age: 22, Acquired: 3rd round of the 2020 NHL Draft (14th pick, 76th overall), 2023-24 Team: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda

Danil Gushchin skated in four games with the Sharks last season, posting one goal and one assist. Gushchin was recalled twice last year. Before his first recall on Nov. 13, he led the Barracuda in scoring and was tied for 11th in the AHL with 13 points (4g, 9a) through 11 games. Before his second recall (Apr. 13), he had points in four consecutive games with the Barracuda (4g, 3a). He was selected to participate in the 2024 AHL All-Star Classic but could not attend due to an injury. Gushchin finished his 2023-24 campaign with the 'Cuda logging 54 points (20 goals, 34 assists) in 56 games. His point total on the year was his best as a member of the Barracuda, surpassing his previous best of 45 points (22 goals, 23 assists) during the 2022-23 campaign and ranked tied for fourth-best among AHL U-22 skaters.


Ethan Cardwell, Height: 5’11”, Age: 21, Acquired: 4th round of the 2021 NHL Draft (25th pick, 121st overall), 2023-24 Team: San Jose Barracuda

Ethan Cardwell was an offensive catalyst for the Barracuda as he had one of the best rookie campaigns in the team’s history. Cardwell made his pro debut with the ‘Cuda on Oct. 13, 2023, against the Rockford IceHogs where he collected his first point, an assist. Cardwell posted 43 points (23 goals, 20 assists) in his first pro campaign, tying the team’s rookie goal-scoring record. He hit the 20-goal mark on Mar. 31 at the Calgary Wranglers, becoming just the sixth AHL rookie to reach the goal milestone on the season. The Barracuda named Cardwell their 2024 Rookie of the Year and Man of the Year for his efforts and dedication outside the ice rink.


Ozzy Wiesblatt, Height: 5’10”, Age: 22, Acquired: 1st round of the 2020 NHL Draft (31st pick, 131st overall), 2023-24 Team: San Jose Barracuda, Milwaukee Admirals

The 2020 first-round pick has showcased his potential throughout the season in the AHL. Wiesblatt skated in 50 regular season games split between the San Jose Barracuda and the Milwaukee Admirals. In 34 games with the Barracuda, he tallied 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists). In his two-year career with the Barracuda, he has appeared in 85 games, logging 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) with 33 penalty in minutes. Wiesblatt was loaned to Milwaukee on Mar. 16 to get playoff experience under his belt. Just before the Admirals entered the playoffs, Wiesblatt posted six points (1 goals, 5 assists) in 16 regular season games. The forward has had a strong playoff run, tied for fourth on the Admirals in scoring with eight points (two goals, six assists) through 13 postseason contests.


Magnus Chrona, Height: 6’6”, Age: 23, Acquired: Traded by the Tampa Bay Lightning for Fredrik Claesson on Apr. 12, 2021, 2023-24 Teams: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda, Wichita Thunder

The co-winner of the Barracuda’s 2023-24 Fan Favorite Award primarily spent last season in the AHL and ECHL. Chrona earned valuable experience in his first pro season, appearing in 31 games with the 'Cuda, posting a 6-17-6 record with a .894 save percentage and 3.49 goals against average. He led all Barracuda netminders in games played (31), time on ice (1755:49), and shots faced (858). He also appeared in two games with the Wichita Thunder, going 0-1-1 but posted a .940 SV% in his small sample size with the club. Chrona was recalled three times by the Sharks this past season (Nov. 3, Dec. 27, and Feb. 28). He made his first NHL appearance by replacing Mackenzie Blackwood on Nov. 3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at SAP Center, logging eight saves out of 12 shots faced. He made his first NHL start on Dec. 28, against the Edmonton Oilers and recorded his first NHL win on Mar. 9 against Ottawa, logging a .969 SV% in 31 saves out of 32 shots faced in the victory. He is the second-youngest goaltender to earn a win with the Sharks at 23 years, 194 days, older than only Josef Kořenář (23 years, 85 days on Apr. 26, 2021).

Top Draft Selections

The Sharks have utilized their first-round selection over the past few seasons on projected future NHL talent, and the Sharks are maximizing the drafting process by selecting more players at the higher end of the draft. This is a crucial part of the process for any team that misses the postseason, as these players vie to be a part of the Next Wave of players that could become part of the foundation of future success. This season, the Sharks hold the first and 14th overall selections in the 2024 draft, along with another two selections in 2025. Both of these players joined the organization full time this year, with Bystedt making his North American professional debut, and Smith signing his entry-level contract with the Sharks and depart from the collegiate level.


Filip Bystedt, Height: 6’4”, Age: 20, Acquired: 1st round of the 2022 NHL Draft (27th pick, 27th overall), 2023-24 Team: Linköping HC, Sweden U-20, San Jose Barracuda

Bystedt made his AHL debut with the Barracuda on Mar. 4 at San Diego. The centerman wasted no time getting acclimated to the North American game, collecting three points (two goals, one assist) in the contest. In his career with Linköping (108 games), he posted 39 points (16 goals, 23 assists) and was named the SHL Rookie of the Year in his 2022-23 campaign after finishing third among U-20 skaters in points with 20 (7g, 13a) in 45 games played. Bystetd represented Team Sweden along with fellow Sharks prospect Mattias Hävelid in the 2024 World Junior Championship, contributing to Sweden’s silver medal run after logging three goals and one assist in seven games.


Will Smith, Height: 6’0”, Age: 19, Acquired: 1st round of the 2023 NHL Draft (4th pick, 4th overall), 2023-24 Team: Boston College, Team USA U-20, Team USA

The 2023-24 Sharks Prospect of the Year, presented by Kaiser Permanente, had a historic season last year. Smith left his mark with Boston College, setting BC’s freshman scoring and assist record with 71 points and 46 helpers in 41 games played and matched the most points by an NCAA U-19 skater since the 1993-94 season. In his postseason run, he helped Boston College capture its 12th Hockey East Tournament Championship. He received Hockey East Tournament MVP honors after logging a five-point game (4g, 1a) in the finals, becoming the first player to net four goals in a championship game and the first freshman to post a hat trick in the decisive contest. He also appeared at the 2024 World Junior Championship, helping Team USA U-20 capture the gold medal against Sweden. He finished the tournament with four goals and five assists. Smith received numerous awards and considerations throughout the course of the season, including AHCA First Team East All-America, Frozen Four All-Tournament Team, Hockey East First All-Star Team and Hockey East All-Rookie Team, and he was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award Finalist. Smith signed his entry-level contract on May 28.

Amateur Accolades

Several prospects in the Sharks system had successful seasons, but a trio of prospects from within the CHL ranks garnered significant end-of-season recognitions, with Quentin Musty (26th overall in 2023) being named to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) First All-Star Team and Luca Cagnoni (123rd overall in 2023) earning spots on the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) Third All-Star Team and Western Hockey League’s (WHL) U.S. Division All-Star Team. Kasper Halttunen (36th overall in 2023) won the OHL championship with the London Knights, leading all skaters with 17 goals in the postseason helping the Knights finish as tournament runner-up. All three players are signed with the organization.


Quentin Musty, Height: 6’2”, Age: 19, Acquired: 1st round of the 2023 NHL Draft (26th overall), 2023-24 Team: Sudbury (OHL)

Musty excelled in his third Ontario Hockey League season, posting 102 points (43 goals, 59 assists) in 53 games. He led the OHL with his 1.92 points-per-game scoring clip and was one of five skaters in the league to reach the century mark in scoring. He registered three hat tricks on the season and totaled six games with five or more points, including a trio of six-point efforts. In the postseason, the Hamburg, New York native had 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in eight games, tying for the team lead. He was named to the OHL First All-Star Team following the season.


Luca Cagnoni, Height: 5’9”, Age: 19, Acquired: 4th round of the 2023 NHL Draft (123rd overall), 2023-24 Team: Portland (WHL)

Cagnoni enjoyed a historic season while patrolling the blue line for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, leading WHL rearguards with 90 points, the most by a league defenseman since the 1993-94 campaign. Cagnoni recorded five games with four or more points, including a five-point outburst to set a season high on Nov. 8 at Kamloops in a 7-3 win. He also clicked at a point-per-game pace in the playoffs with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 13 games, helping the Winterhawks to a WHL runner-up finish. The defenseman was named to the U.S. Division All-Star Team and earned CHL Third All-Star Team recognition following the year.


Kasper Halttunen, Height: 6’3”, Age: 18, Acquired: 2nd round of the 2023 NHL Draft (36th overall), 2023-24 Team: London (OHL), Finland U-20

Halttunen proved to be a lethal addition to the Ontario Hockey League’s London Knights squad in his first season in North America, the winger totaling 61 points (32 goals, 29 assists) in 57 games in the regular season. He brought his offense to another level in the postseason, leading the OHL playoffs with 17 goals and finishing with 26 points in 18 games to help the Knights capture the league crown, highlighted by back-to-back hat tricks and eight goals over the final three games of the championship series. He was the first player in OHL history with back-to-back hat tricks in the Final and set the record for most goals in a playoff by an Import player. In the Memorial Cup, Halttunen registered five points in four games, lighting the lamp in each contest while helping the Knights to a runner-up finish and earning a place on the Memorial Cup All-Star Team. In international play, Halttunen tallied six points (three goals, three assists) in seven games at the World Junior Championship, finishing tied for second on the club in scoring at the tournament.

Acquiring Young Talent

Since Mike Grier took over as Sharks General Manager, San Jose has turned roster players into future draft picks via trade including a 2023 first-round pick (Quentin Musty), 2023 third-round pick (Brandon Svoboda), 2023 fourth-round pick (Luca Cagnoni), 2024 first-round pick (14th overall), 2024 second-round pick, 2024 third-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick, 2024 fifth-round pick and 2025 first-round pick. Additionally, prospects acquired in deals include forwards David Edstrom and Fabian Zetterlund as well as defensemen Shakir Mukhamadullin, Jack Thompson and Henry Thrun.

In a waiver claim, the Sharks acquired then-23-year-old defenseman Ty Emberson from the New York Rangers on Sept. 30, 2023. Emberson skated in 30 games with San Jose, registering 10 points. He had nine points over his final 18 games before suffering a season-ending, lower-body injury.

While the Sharks have seen success via the draft, the club has also utilized trades, free agent signings, and waiver claims to bolster the team’s pipeline while transitioning to a new window for championship contention.


Collin Graf, Height: 6’1”, Age: 21, Acquired: Signed as a free agent on Apr. 4, 2024, 2023-24 Team: Quinnipiac, San Jose Sharks

Graf concluded his collegiate career in the 2023-24 season, earning ECAC Player of the Year, ECAC First All-Star Team and AHCA East Second-Team All-America honors as well as being a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award after posting 49 points (22 goals, 27 assists) in 34 games with Quinnipiac. A year after helping the Bobcats earn the national title in 2022-23, the forward led Quinnipiac in points and goals. He inked an entry-level deal with the Sharks on Apr. 4 and appeared in seven games, making his NHL debut on Apr. 6 against St. Louis. He registered his first NHL point, an assist, in the next game, Apr. 7 vs. Arizona, and added his second assist with the Sharks in the season finale at Calgary.

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Jack Thompson, Height: 6’1”, Age: 22, Acquired: Acquired by San Jose along with a third-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft from Tampa Bay in exchange for Anthony Duclair on March 7, 2024, 2023-24 Teams: San Jose Sharks, San Jose Barracuda, Tampa Bay Lightning, Syracuse Crunch

Thompson posted another strong season in the American Hockey League, his total of 41 points (six goals, 35 assists) in 62 games being the third-best among league U-23 defensemen. The blueliner had 32 points (five goals, 27 assists) with Syracuse at the time of his acquisition by San Jose. Thompson made his NHL debut on Jan. 6 with Tampa at Boston, logging 11:39 time on ice. He appeared in each of the final two games of the year with the Sharks, tallying 15:58 in the penultimate matchup at Edmonton and 19:24 TOI in the season finale at Calgary. Thompson represented the Crunch at the AHL All-Star Classic at Tech CU Arena.

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David Edstrom, Height: 6’3”, Age: 19, Acquired: Acquired by San Jose along with a first-round selection in the 2025 NHL Draft from Vegas in exchange for Tomas Hertl (17-percent retained) and third-round picks in 2025 and 2027 on March 8, 2024, 2023-24 Team: Frolunda HC, Sweden U-20

A first-round pick by the Vegas Golden Knights in 2023, David Edstrom enjoyed a strong season in the SHL, finishing tied for fourth among the league’s U-20 skaters with 19 points (seven goals, 12 assists) in the regular season and coming in second among the age group in the postseason with six points (two goals, four assists) in 14 games. Edstrom posted four multi-point efforts in SHL play, including a two-goal effort on Sept. 26 against Linkoping. In international play, Edstrom played alongside fellow Sharks prospects Filip Bystedt and Mattias Hävelid at the World Junior Championship, helping host Sweden take a Silver Medal at the tournament. Edstrom had three assists in seven games at the top junior showcase.

Late Round Picks Showing Early Promise

Beyond the added numbers, the Sharks have continued to see players in the pipeline develop both with the Barracuda and with their respective junior clubs. Fifth-round selection in 2023 Eric Pohlkamp won a Gold Medal alongside fellow prospect Will Smith and Team USA at the 2024 World Junior Championship and was named to the CCHA First All-Star Team and All-Rookie Team. Fourth-rounder in 2021 Ethan Cardwell led the Barracuda in goals in 2023-24. Fifth-rounder in 2022 Jake Furlong captained the Halifax Mooseheads to a strong season in the QMJHL. Goaltenders Magnus Chrona and Georgi Romanov continued to develop with a full season in the AHL, both making their NHL debuts with the Sharks in 2023-24. 2023 Third-round selection Brandon Svoboda helped the Fargo Force win the Clark Cup Championship in the United States Hockey League (USHL), scoring five points in nine games.