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Prospect Spotlight: Jake Jackson

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

A couple weeks ago, the spotlight was on Michigan Tech defenseman Clifford Watson. But Watson isn't the only Michigan Tech player in the Sharks organization. Center Jake Jackson is also a member of the Huskies.

Currently in his sophomore season with Michigan Tech, Jackson has established himself as a regular to the lineup and a solid contributor.

In his 24 games played, he has 5 goals on the season, tied for fifth-most on the team, and has registered a +3 rating.

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Prospect Spotlight: Cavan Fitzgerald

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

It's back to business as usual for Sharks prospect Cavan Fitzgerald. And for Fitzgerald, his business is putting up gaudy offensive numbers.

The 20-year-old is an exciting offensive defenseman and the captain of the Shawnigan Cataractes of the QMJHL. Last weekend against Baie-Comeau, Fitzgerald exploded for a 5-point night - a hat trick and two assists.

But Fitzgerald was quick to credit his team, calling it "a real team victory."

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Prospect Spotlight: Clifford Watson

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

It was a big week for the Sharks prospects. Joachim Blichfeld, Rudolfs Balcers and Karlis Cukste represented their countries in the World Juniors, Manuel Wiederer was traded between junior teams and responded with 5 points in 2 games, and Jake Marchment has been proving to be a valuable piece for the ECHL's Allen Americans.

But it's easy to highlight high-scoring forwards. Steady defenseman don't usually get as much of the spotlight, except this week. Sharks prospect Clifford Watson (@25Cliffy) has continued a strong season at Michigan Tech, and highlighted it with his first goal of the season last Thursday. The goal helped his Huskies advance to the Great Lakes Invitational Championship Game.

The Appleton, WI native is a 6'2", 203 pound defensive defenseman in his senior season at Michigan Tech, and in his second year as the captain of the team.

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Prospect Spotlight: Joachim Blichfeld

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

As the 2017 World Junior Championships continue rolling along, the biggest upset so far may have been Team Denmark taking a 3-2 win against Team Finland. The player who scored the game-winning goal in that game was none other than Sharks prospect Joachim Blichfeld (@joachimblich).

Tweet from @myregularface: here is what stands as the game winning goal for Denmark pic.twitter.com/TB5cQqqSJa

The 18-year-old Danish winger tapped home the pass from Jonas Rondbjerg late in the second period to give Denmark a huge 3-0 lead. After a rally attempt from Finland in the third, Blichfeld's got the credit for the game-winner.

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Prospect Spotlight: Karlis Cukste

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

Each winter, the world's top hockey talent gathers to play for their country at the IIHF World Junior Championships. The tournament begins December 26th, co-hosted in Toronto and Montreal.

The Sharks will have some major representation at the World Juniors with the Latvian National Team. Along with forward Rudolfs Balcers, Sharks defense prospect Karlis Cukste will represent Latvia at the tournament.

Cukste was drafted by the Sharks in the 4th round (130th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. After playing in the USHL, the defenseman joined Quinnipiac University this season.

"We knew when we got him he'd be a good player for us" Quinnipiac coach Rand Pecknold said in an October interview with the New Hampshire Register. "To his credit, he's adapted quickly. He's not our typical defenseman that we normally take. But it's nice to have that kind of size back there."

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Prospect Spotlight: Manuel Wiederer

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

The Sharks have a solid record of drafting German-born players. Whether it's Marco Sturm, Christian Ehrhoff or Thomas Greiss, the Sharks and their scouts have been able to find NHL talent.

And that's exactly what Manuel Wiederer plans to be. In order to reach the NHL, the prospect models himself as a two-way threat and a normally flashy, high-scoring QMJHL.

"I've been told by a few people that I remind them of Brent Sutter," Wiederer said in an interview with HockeysFuture.com. "He may not be an everyday household name and I know that a lot of guys my age aren't really aware of what he was like as a player, but he played a solid two-way game and that's the kind of game I play. I like to be responsible in my zone. I like to play with a defensive mindset."

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Prospect Spotlight: Rudolfs Balcers

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

Last week, all eyes were on Noah Gregor, who promptly put up five points in a game last weekend against Calgary. This week, the spotlight stays in the Western Hockey League, but moves to the Kamloops Blazers' left wing, Rudolfs Balcers.

"Rudy brings a certain swagger on the ice," Blazers broadcaster Jon Keen said. "He's a talented offensive player and he plays with confidence knowing he can make a difference."

After a bit of a sluggish start to the season, Balcers finds himself leading the team in goals and points, and within the top 20 in both those categories across the WHL.

"He's found great chemistry with linemates Deven Sideroff (Ducks prospect) and Garrett Pilon (Capitals prospect)," Keen said. "The trio has been one of the most dangerous lines in the WHL this season."

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Prospect Spotlight: Noah Gregor

by Jonathan Wold / sjsharks.com

2016 NHL Draft: Noah Gregor

2016 NHL Draft: Noah Gregor

Meet the San Jose Sharks' 3rd-round draft pick, Noah Gregor

  • 01:50 •

Over the past couple weeks, no Sharks prospect has been hotter than forward Noah Gregor. Gregor has piled up 10 points in his last 5 game (3 goals, 7 assists), and is currently above a point-per-game pace for the Moose Jaw Warriors in the Western Hockey League.

"I'm an offensive minded guy," Gregor said after the NHL Entry Draft. "I have pretty good speed and like to make plays in the offensive zone. But I'm a reliable guy and like to work hard every shift."

Gregor burst onto the scene last season after missing the majority of the prior season with a collarbone injury. As a rookie in the WHL last year, Gregor put up 28 goals and 45 assists for a total of 73 points in 72 games played. That scoring touch made him the runner up for WHL Rookie of the Year. 

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