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Fantasy top 50 defenseman rankings for 2018-19

Dahlin among top 15 for Sabres; Doughty gains value with Kovalchuk joining Kings, Carlson remains elite option after re-signing with Capitals

by Rob Reese @NHLReese / NHL.com Fantasy Editor

NHL.com updates the top 50 fantasy defenseman landscape based on past production and expectations for next season in standard Yahoo leagues. Fantasy owners should use these updated rankings as a basis for team evaluation, keeper decisions and offseason draft research. These rankings will be updated throughout the offseason after the 2018 NHL Draft, free agency, trades, injury updates, prospect news, fantasy mock drafts and other developments.

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Sharks Conclude 2018 NHL Draft with Five Selections

San Jose Opens Day Two Trading Up to 87th to Select Linus Karlsson

by San Jose Sharks @sanjosesharks / sjsharks.com

DALLAS - The San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) concluded the 2018 NHL Draft today with Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson and Director of Scouting Tim Burke making an additional four picks for a total of five selections overall in the 2018 NHL Draft.

After selecting Defenseman Ryan Merkley 21st overall on Day One, San Jose opened Day Two by trading up to the 87th position (third round) and selected 18-year-old Center Linus Karlsson (@Karlsson_16) from Karlskrona of the Swedish Jr. leagues. The six-foot-one, 180 pound pivot led his team in points (52), goals (27), ranked second in plus/minus (+11) and finished third in assists (25). He tied for the league lead in goals and finished tied for second in points, and was named the league's top player. In addition, he appeared in 13 games with Karlskrona's top men's team, recording one point.

He was ranked 39th by NHL Central Scouting (European skaters), and according to EliteProspects.com "Good size and goal scoring ability. Has fine hands and overall offensive skills. Very good hockey sense and great character."

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NHL Draft

Sharks keep options open, in a 'good place'

Put Martin on waivers to clear cap space, select Merkley at No. 21 in Draft

by Tracey Myers @TraMyers_NHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

DALLAS -- San Jose Sharks general manager Doug Wilson is looking at all of the possibilities.

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Draft Pick Hat Trick: Ryan Merkley

Three things you need to know about the Sharks latest draft pick

by Casey Krygier @sanjosesharks / sjsharks.com

Quick Quiz: Ryan Merkley

Quick Quiz: Ryan Merkley

San Jose Sharks draft pick Ryan Merkley participates in a quick quiz

  • 01:04 •

Here are three things you need to know about the Sharks first-round draft pick Ryan Merkley.

1. In 2016 Merkley was drafted first overall in the OHL draft, named Rookie of the Year, and named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

 

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Sharks Select Merkley with 21st Overall Selection in NHL Draft

by San Jose Sharks @sanjosesharks / sjsharks.com

Sharks draft D Merkley No. 21

Sharks draft D Ryan Merkley No. 21

The San Jose Sharks select defenseman Ryan Merkley with the 21st overall pick at the 2018 NHL Draft

  • 01:25 •

DALLAS - With the 21st overall selection in the 2018 NHL Draft, San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) General Manager Doug Wilson and Director of Scouting Tim Burke selected Defenseman Ryan Merkley (@ryan_merkley).

The 17-year-old defenseman recorded 67 points (13 goals, 54 assists), 63 penalty minutes and 144 shots on goal in 63 games with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2017-18. He led all Guelph blueliners and ranked third amongst all OHL rearguards in points, and among defensemen, led his team in goals and ranked second in shots on goal. In six playoff games, he led all team blueliners in points (one goal, five assists) and led the team in penalty minutes (10) and shots on goal (25).

"We spent quite a bit of time on him. He's a unique kid, high-end skill, high risk, high reward," said Wilson. "He's a competitor and has the ability to be a difference maker. When the game is on the line, he wants the puck."

Video: Wilson on Merkley's skill set, bolstering offense

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Shaping the Sharks - Part I

The Story of How the Sharks are Built

by Randy Hahn / sjsharks.com

Shaping the Sharks - Part I

Shaping the Sharks - Part I

Part one of the three-part series takes a dive into the Sharks scouting and drafting history and strategy ahead of the 2018 NHL Draft

  • 05:05 •

The following is a transcript from the three-part series Shaping the Sharks- a story of how the team is scouted, drafted and developed. 

Day in and day out... the job of an amateur hockey scout is endless; watching, analyzing, and searching for the next big talent. They work all year long for one, long weekend when their NHL team has the opportunity to build for the future.

The Sharks are annually amongst the NHL's top regular season clubs. However, this success comes with a price. Since 2003 when Doug Wilson was named General Manager, the Sharks are only one of eight NHL clubs, excluding the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, to not have had a top-3 NHL draft selection. 

In fact, the Sharks have only held a Top-3 selection five times in the team's history - none since 1998 and have never drafted first overall. This means the team's hockey department and scouts have had to be creative in order to cast the future of Sharks Hockey. 

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