Doug Wilson made it a point to get back into the first round.
During the Trade Deadline, he recouped the San Jose Sharks’ 2020 first-round pick, lost in the acquisition of Erik Karlsson last summer, by sending Barclay Goodrow and a third-round pick to Tampa Bay. Of course, he lost 28 spots in the Draft, but hindsight is easy.
Wilson, by the way, offered a staunch defense of Karlsson earlier today, telling San Jose Hockey Now: “You’re about to see Erik Karlsson be one of the dominant players in the game again.”
Now, the San Jose Sharks will pick 31st (from Tampa Bay), 34th, 56th (from Colorado via Washington), 126th (from Ottawa), 127th, 201st (from Pittsburgh), 210th (from Washington) in the 2020 Draft. That’s one first-round pick, two second-round picks, two fifth-round picks, and two seventh-round picks.
So will Wilson try to trade into the third, fourth, or fifth rounds, or where he doesn’t have any picks, next week?
That crossed my mind when director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. gushed about the depth of the 2020 Draft.
“Last year, we made five trades at the draft table to try to move around, based on the amount of guys we had on our list. Last year, we barely had 90 guys on our final draft list. This year, I think the final number was 131. We’re pretty excited about the draft depth of this season,” Wilson Jr. revealed. “For this draft, we’re looking at guys who could fall into the third, fourth, fifth rounds that in previous seasons would’ve gone earlier.”
Based on Wilson Jr.’s assertion, it also wouldn’t be surprisingly to see the San Jose Sharks move back during next week’s Draft. For example, No. 56 could easily be split into two higher middle-round picks.
The San Jose Sharks general manager signaled earlier today that his 2020 picks, in particular, would be prized next week.
“If I’m looking to acquire, for example a goaltender, I would prefer not to have to use picks from this year,” Wilson shared. “Would I listen to [an offer]? Absolutely. But this is a pretty good draft for what we’re looking for. Those picks are valued. Our first-round pick next year is valued. Somebody would have to knock my socks off to make me move around on that.”
“A lot of teams have been calling to drop down. To [our] No. 31 and 34 picks. A lot of teams have been calling to move up,” Wilson Jr. added. “The market is just telling you we’re in a very good spot where we are.”
It’s probable too that the San Jose Sharks will be able to get guys from their draft list with their two fifth-round picks.
Wilson Jr. pointed out: “In my four drafts, this is the longest-ranked list that we’ve had.”
Agent on UFA Gridlock, Gambrell & Kellman on Jumbo’s Departure
The free agency gridlock is real — and according to an agent, there’s no end in the sight.
It’s not just the money being handed out, or lack thereof, it’s also the rush, or lack thereof, to sign guys.
To illustrate, 19 days into free agency, six of TSN’s final top-20 free agents are still on the board: Mike Hoffman, Erik Haula, Corey Perry, Mikael Granlund, Anthony Duclair, and Sami Vatanen.
Last summer, just two of TSN’s top-20 were available after 12 days of free agency: Ben Hutton and Jake Gardiner.
“The length of time until the season starts is probably affecting [this off-season’s free agents],” an agent told San Jose Hockey Now. “There’s not much rush right now since who knows when NHL camps even open?”
This is on top of revenue concerns that every organization is facing.
So the teams are in no rush to commit — and in some cases, the players aren’t either.
This particular agent agreed that players might see better offers once there’s more certainty with when the 2020-21 season will begin.
So while we know there are multiple teams in on the likes of Hoffman, Haula, and Conor Sheary, it might be a while yet before all these dominos fall.
No Conor Sheary Update
Speaking of Sheary, San Jose Hockey Now broke last week that the San Jose Sharks were talking to his camp.
At the moment, however, SJHN doesn’t have an additional Sheary update.
That’s no surprise. It is, after all, an unusually stagnant market.
Gambrell, Kellman on Thornton
A week and a half ago, when Joe Thornton left the San Jose Sharks for Toronto, San Jose Hockey Now reached out to a few Sharks to ask them about Jumbo’s departure.
Kevin Labanc was quick to reply; over the last week, a couple more Sharks have responded.
Dylan Gambrell texted: “Huge loss, big presence, and has been such a key piece for the Sharks for a very long time. Someone I looked up to very much and learned a ton from.
“I wish him nothing but the best and you can ask just about anyone how much he’ll be missed. With that said, it’s up to us as a team to step up and make up for that presence going forward and I know we have the guys in the locker room to do that.”
Gambrell, who the San Jose Sharks hope can step up to help fill Thornton’s void on the ice, has spent most of the last half-year in Denver. The 24-year-old forward plans to be in San Jose in about a week, to join the likes of Logan Couture, Tomas Hertl, and Labanc, who have been skating together.
Meanwhile, over 5,000 miles away, Joel Kellman won’t be back soon — he’s playing for Allsvenskan’s Kristianstads IK right now.
Kellman messaged SJHN about the San Jose Sharks legend: “I was so happy I got to play with him for a couple months! He was just a true professional, always working hard on and off the ice. That’s why he’s been good for so many years.”
Meeting Mr. Robins
Erik and JD look into the second of the San Jose Sharks’ two second-round draft picks, Tristen Robbins. We review his statistical profile and where he lands on some draft models. Then, we look at his tape to determine his strengths and weaknesses (8:00) as well as why his numbers exploded over the second half of the season. We finish by looking at his timeline for making the NHL (18:00). Check out the podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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