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Doug Wilson Jr. on How Sharks Ended Up with All Forwards, Trading Up for Gushchin



Credit: NHL Network

“Think small.”

For the San Jose Sharks, a couple trends emerged during the second day of the 2020 NHL Draft.

In the first two rounds, 10 5-foot-10 or smaller forwards were selected. San Jose used all three of their first or second round picks on such forwards.


So that’s nine forwards in nine draft picks.

Anyway, we’ve already talked about four of these forwards: No. 31 Ozzy Wiesblatt, No. 38 Thomas Bordeleau, No. 56 Tristen Robins, and No. 76 Danil Gushchin.

Ozzy Wiesblatt: “My mom will never forget that.”

Get to Know Thomas Bordeleau, Tristen Robins, Danil Gushchin

Let’s talk now about picks No. 98 Brandon Coe, No. 196 Alex Young, No. 201 Adam Raska, No. 206 Linus Oberg, and No. 211 Timofey Spitserov.

Doug Wilson, Doug Wilson Jr., and Joe Will also offered a post-Draft recap that touched on the aforementioned trends.

Speaking of Coe, the San Jose Sharks acquired No. 98 from Montreal for a 2021 third-round pick (from Washington).

The Sharks also traded No. 127 to the Rangers for the No. 196 and No. 206 picks.

Doug Wilson Jr.

Doug Wilson Jr., on whether or not San Jose Sharks were confident that Thomas Bordeleau would be there at No. 38:

We weren’t confident he was going to be there. It was a calculated risk to move down from No. 34 to No. 38 to get No. 100.

Wilson Jr. on why San Jose traded up to pick Gushchin:

We really did not want to move back up into the draft. Our goal was to continue to move down. But at some point, when you get a player of that caliber, it’s worth more than two picks.

With Danil, he was just one of 3-4 guys who we highlighted, if they get past a certain threshold, we got to try to find a way to get him.

He’s training right now with Ivan Chekhovich. They’re very close friends.

He was on a bad team this year in Muskegon. But he was the leading scorer on the team, even strength points. It’s a small stat, but on that team, he was a +21. I think the next closest was -2 or -3 for guys who played over 20 games.

Besides being so offensive, he’s conscientious on both sides of the rink.

We thought he was worth the risk to move back up.

Wilson Jr., on how San Jose Sharks ended up with all forwards in this Draft:

We just went with Best Player Available. We signed Brinson Pasichnuk. Our last couple drafts, we drafted Ryan Merkley, Santeri Hatakka, Artemi Kniazev, Mario Ferraro.

We had some D on our list, they just didn’t fall.

Wilson Jr. on if all four seventh-rounders were also on San Jose’s 131-deep draft list:

We won’t draft anyone who’s off our list. If they’re not on our list, we’ll try to trade the picks to future years.

Doug Wilson

Wilson, on if picking smaller forwards was looking toward how game will be played in future:

A little bit. But I think you’re looking for hockey players. You’re looking for the type of ingredients, guys who can be successful in this league irregardless of their size. We’ve got guys who can skate, a lot of right-shot guys. 6 of the 9 guys are right shot. They all got compete, they can think the game at a high level.

Brandon Coe

Brandon Coe, on what spurred his growth in second half of season:

Just finding the confidence in my game. Once I made the Top Prospects Game, I thought to myself I could be a top player in the OHL.

In the second half of the year, I had a lot of confidence in my game.

Coe, on long-time North Bay Battalion head coach Stan Butler’s impact on him:

Stan’s been great for me. Took me in as a 16-year-old right off the bat. Was tough on me but that’s what coaches are meant to be.

He’s taught me a lot of wise things in the game of hockey, taught me how to be a more consistent player. Can’t thank him enough for that.

Wilson Jr., on trading for pick that was used on Coe:

We highlighted a few goalscorers who were bigger but we wanted all of them to be able to skate. I’m not sure how he ended up slipping.

6-foot-4 right shot with 25 goals in the OHL, they don’t grow on trees.

Bryan Marchment knows him better than anyone.

Elite Prospects on Coe:

“There’s plenty of skill here, too — waiting to be harnessed…hand-eye coordination is among the best in class, getting wood on just about every puck in a metter-and-a-half radius.”

“He disappears for lengthy stretches. It’s not for a lack of trying.”

McKeen’s Hockey on Coe:

“Major allure of Coe’s game comes from his size and speed combination…explosive and powerful for a 6-foot-3 teenager…it is rare to find 6-foot-3 forwards who can skate like Coe does.”

“Does Coe think the game well enough to be more than just a change of pace energy player at the NHL level?”

Alex Young

Doug Wilson Jr. on Young:

We should’ve drafted Alex Young last year.

(Future Considerations)

Adam Raska

Linus Oberg

Timofey Spitserov

Per The Hockey News, who rated Spitserov as a sleeper: “Playing for a prep team that often got dominated by other high-end programs, Spitserov was a bit of a one-man army for the Eagles: He led the team with 49 goals and 76 points in 40 games, while the second-leading scorer notched just 46 points.

“So it was tough for scouts to get a read on Spitserov, who came over from Russia and is committed to UMass. A hardworking kid who stops on pucks and has a heavy frame, Spitserov is a bit of a mystery even to NHL scouts, but there’s definitely talent there. Muskegon owns his USHL rights.”

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