The 2006 NHL Entry Draft completed Saturday night with 213 players being selected at GM Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The San Jose Sharks followed a similar pattern as they have in years past, trading up in the first round to acquire the player they felt would benefit them the most.
Instead of staying at the 20th position, the Sharks traded the 20th pick along with their second round pick (53rd overall) to be able to move up four spots. With the 16th overall pick, the Sharks selected a 6-foot-4, 205-pound defenseman named Ty Wishart.
Wishart was surprised to be picked with the 16th pick by San Jose, but was excited about the selection.
I only had one interview with the Sharks and I thought it went fairly well,” said Wishart who played for Prince George of the Western Hockey League in 2005-06. “When they traded up, I didn’t think they were going to pick me, but when they did I was ecstatic. I’m really happy to come to San Jose.”
The big defenseman describes himself as a solid player who models himself after Edmonton’s Chris Pronger.
“I’m a two-way defenseman and I’m good in my own zone,” he said. “I can move the puck well. I’d like to work on my foot speed and keep my intensity up from start to finish.”
Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson is no stranger to playing defense in the NHL. Wilson and his staff recognize a good talent when they see one, which is why they felt they had to make the move up in the draft to acquire Wishart.
“He’s a big kid who’s multidimensional,” said Wilson. “To be able to get him where we did was great. We’re looking forward to working with him. Big kids tend to take a little bit longer, but he’s got a very good upside.”
“We didn’t think he’d get to us if we waited for our 20th pick,” added Sharks Director of Scouting Tim Burke. “He’s got a lot of upside. He’s a big kid and we really like his character. He’s got a long reach and he gets in a lot of plays offensively and defensively. He’s done well at a National Team level and has passed a lot of our tests.”
Wishart realizes how special it is to be a first round draft pick. But to be just the second defenseman selected in the draft by a former standout defenseman, exceeded his expectations.
“It’s a great honor to be selected by someone who played the game as well as he did,” said Wishart of Wilson. “For him to pick me as the second defenseman in the draft is just a great honor and I’m really excited about it.”
With their second pick in the draft, San Jose didn’t wait until their next pick (85th overall). They made a trade with Columbus for the 36th overall pick so they could draft Jamie McGinn.
McGinn, a member of Team Canada for the 2005 Under-18 Junior World Cup, had a great year for Ottawa of the Ontario Hockey League, notching 57 points (26 goals, 31 assists) in 65 games.
“McGinn was a guy we would have considered at 20 if we hadn’t moved up,” said Burke. “We hoped he would fall into that area. We were lucky to get him. Both McGinn and Wishart were guys we really wanted because they are both character guys. McGinn’s a guy that goes and stays in the front of the net, tips a lot of pucks, screens goalies, plays with top lines and does a lot of dirty work. He does a lot of things that make a line go.”
McGinn mentioned how he didn’t think San Jose would want him based on their interview with the young prospect where they tested him in many areas. In reality, San Jose questioned him so hard only because they were very interested in selecting him.
“I was really in shock when San Jose called my name,” said McGinn. “I didn’t expect it at all really, but I’m very happy to be a member of the Sharks. I know a little bit about them because I’m a teammate with Derek Joslin who was selected in the fifth round last year. We’re good buddies and he’s had nothing but positive things to say about the Sharks so I can’t wait to get out there.”
“We were pleasantly surprised we were able to get Jamie McGinn in particular, but it worked well,” added Wilson.
The Sharks would make yet another trade to move up in the draft. They would have to wait until the fourth round (98th overall) to make another big defenseman, James DeLory, their third pick.
“For us, we knew we would utilize all our picks, but not necessarily use them,” said Wilson. “Our scouts work hard to identify quality not quantity and we’re very pleased with how things turned out.”
With their final three selections, the Sharks selected right wing Ashton Rome 143rd overall, right wing John McCarthy 202nd overall and forward Jay Barriball 203rd overall.