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Wilson Spells Out What Sharks Are Looking for in Goal Next Year

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Credit: All-Pro Reels (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Doug Wilson is known for not tipping his hand.

Unlike other general managers who held their pre-Draft availability this week, Wilson declined to publicly name any San Jose Sharks unrestricted or restricted free agents that he’s allowing to walk when free agency begins next Friday.

Of course, for the veteran Sharks GM, that’s par for the course.

In short, we’re not getting clarity on the status of Sharks free agents Aaron Dell, Stefan Noesen, Melker Karlsson, Kevin Labanc, Antti Suomela, Jeremy Roy, you name it, at least not directly from Wilson.

That said, Wilson spelled out what he’s looking for in net next year (and no, he’s not buying out Martin Jones).

“Ideally — and it depends on what the cost is, the acquisition cost — is getting a guy who’s been a number-one, that’s a veteran, who wants to come in and compete for a spot,” Wilson revealed.

This is in line with reports from the past month that have tied the San Jose Sharks to starting-caliber netminders Jake Allen, Darcy Kuemper, Devan Dubnyk, Braden Holtby, and James Reimer. For what it’s worth, Allen, Kuemper, Dubnyk, and Reimer have similar contracts — one to two years left, 3.4 million to 4.5 million per. Holtby is a UFA.

A likely shortened and condensed 2020-21 campaign is a factor here too.

“Having two goaltenders, especially right now during this time, that can run with it for a while if needed [is important],” Wilson observed.

Wilson also declared his 2020 draft picks not in play for an established goaltender.

“You never say never. But the quality of this draft really dictates a lot of our decisions. If I’m looking to acquire, for example a goaltender, I would prefer not to have to use picks from this year,” Wilson said. “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.”

Truth or posturing? We’ll see. It’s interesting that Wilson went out of his way to give “goaltender” as an example here, to a general question on if the team’s higher picks this year were in play.

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.

Regardless of who Wilson chooses to pair with Jones, new San Jose Sharks goaltending coach Evgeni Nabokov will have a big say in the decision.

“We’ve talked about exploring the goaltender market. I’ve had Nabby and our staff extremely focused in on that, what would be the right fit for our group,” Wilson said. “I use Nabby a lot. He’s worked his tail off the last little while, evaluating the guys that have been No. 1’s.”

Even if Wilson won’t say it, does any of this sound like Dell?

 

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JV

Solid & quick write up, Sheng! In all of my roster mock ups I’ve been targeting Greiss. I feel like he’s a great fit. Same with a Khudobin. Based off of Doug’s comments, it leads me to believe both of those players don’t fit that “former #1” mold. I’m high on Kuemper and the CBJ’s goalies. Since the 1st & 2nd round picks aren’t in play for a goalie, I imagine those 3 aren’t on the table. Depending on Holtby’s demands, I would be more open to him over Dubnyk and Reimer since no assets are required in signing a… Read more »

JV

Thanks for the reply, Sheng! My thinking is that there needs to be some money going back the other way. $6.2m for Dubnyk & Donato next season without any retention is a big chunk of valuable cap space for two lower value players on top of potentially sending back a higher pick and/or prospect. Sorensen would seem to make the most sense to send back to Minnesota since Donato is essentially taking his spot.

whiskerz

So maybe Raanta instead of Keumper, Lundqvist fits the mold too on UFA front.

Brice Robertson

I’d be curious to know what the pro scouts think of Aaron Dell.

Alaskan_ice

Sheng,
Thanks for keeping us up on all things Sharks. I personally find it wonderful how you delve into all aspects, players, management and draft.

I’m personally over Dell. He’s good people but we need something new. This is also why I’m rooting to bring in Donato. He’s still young. He can shoot the lights out as well.

[…] “Having two goaltenders, particularly proper now throughout this time, that may run with it for some time if wanted [is important],” Wilson mentioned (H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com). […]

[…] “Having two goaltenders, especially right now during this time, that can run with it for a while if needed [is important],” Wilson said (H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com). […]

[…] “Having two goaltenders, especially right now during this time, that can run with it for a while if needed [is important],” Wilson said (H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com). […]

[…] H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com).” data-reactid=”34″>“Having two goaltenders, especially right now during this time, that can run with it for a while if needed [is important],” Wilson said (H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com). […]

[…] “Having two goaltenders, especially right now during this time, that can run with it for a while if needed [is important],” Wilson said (H/T SanJoseHockeyNow.com). […]

Analytics

Rocky Thompson: “Leave analytics out of the locker room.”

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Credit: Ross Dettman/Chicago Wolves

George Kingston was the San Jose Sharks’ first head coach. Fast forward to 2015: He was the President of the NHL Coaches Association when he sent a fateful e-mail.

“George Kingston always sent out an e-mail asking for people who would want to present at the NHL’s coaches conference at the NHL entry draft,” San Jose Sharks associate coach Rocky Thompson told Oilersnation earlier this week. “I felt I needed to get my name out there, so I called him and said I’d like to present.”

Thompson’s career was at a crossroads when he took the stage at the 2015 NHL Coaches Association Global Coaches’ Clinic in Florida. He was a coach without a team — the Edmonton Oilers had just fired his head coach Dallas Eakins — and he didn’t know if incoming head coach Todd McLellan would keep him.

There were over 400 coaches in attendance: “He blew them away.”

Windsor Spitfires owner Bob Boughner was one of them: “What he said really hit home with me.”

The Spitfires hired Thompson as head coach and he led them to the 2017 Memorial Cup. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights followed up, selecting Thompson to be their first-ever AHL head coach, and he led the Chicago Wolves to the 2019 Calder Cup Finals.

Trevor Letowski on Rocky Thompson’s Analytical Bent

How Rocky Thompson’s AHL Coaching Stint Will Help Sharks

Watching Rocky Thompson’s PP Breakouts with an NHL Coach

And now, the circle from Kingston to Boughner to San Jose is complete: Last month, the San Jose Sharks tapped Thompson to be part of the head coach’s staff. Thompson will be running the defense and the power play.

San Jose Hockey Now caught up with Thompson in a wide-ranging interview earlier this month.

Curious how the San Jose Sharks might maximize Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns’s talents? How Phil Jackson and the triangle offense will apply to the Sharks? As a coach, how to use analytics the right way?

Thompson, to say the least, loves nerding out about hockey.

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Locked On Sharks

USNTDP coach Nick Fohr on Bordeleau’s Hockey IQ, Chmelevski’s Skating, Labanc’s Confidence

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Thomas Bordeleau

It’s Thomas Bordeleau Week here at San Jose Hockey Now!

Earlier this week, Kyle, Erik, and JD discussed some of the second-round pick’s scouting and statistical profiles:

Get to Know Thomas Bordeleau

Today, Sheng Peng joined the podcast, and we really got into detail on Bordeleau with his former USA Hockey National Team Development Program coach Nick Fohr.

Bordeleau isn’t the first San Jose Sharks prospect that Fohr has coached — the current USNTDP Associate Coach has worked with Kevin Labanc, Scott Reedy, and Sasha Chmelevski.

Nick Fohr Remembers Teenage Kevin Labanc: “Kevin was a scrawny little kid.”

Here’s a select transcription from this fun, informative interview — Fohr shares Bordeleau’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, discusses Chmelevski’s flawed-but- improving skating, and reveals what Labanc’s USNTDP teammates gave him a hard time about.

Nick Fohr, on Thomas Bordeleau’s greatest strength and weakness:

In Thomas’s case, he’s a very crafty, skilled forward that competes pretty hard. That was something he really improved on in the two years with us.

He really loves to rely on this skill.

He’s a cerebral player. He really takes in the game. He reads plays well up and down the ice sheet.

That being a strength of his, one of his weaknesses, he relies on his skill too much. That was something we talked with Thomas a lot: Although you are a skilled hockey player, you are not skilled enough to make it in the NHL on skill alone. You have to develop a little more bite, a little more aggressiveness. You gotta round your game out a little bit more defensively. Commit to those things and not rely on just being a skilled player. Those players don’t make it in the NHL anymore. They don’t. They used to. At least they don’t make it for a long, extended period of time.

Fohr, on Bordeleau’s hockey IQ:

If you ask a coach or a scout or a GM, what are your three most important things? People almost always throw hockey IQ at you.

For me, with Thomas, where you really see it, when you see the intelligence, when he gets the puck on his stick, his ability to manipulate the other team, manipulate the defender. For example, on the power play, when he has the puck on his tape, the way he postures the puck, the way he holds the puck on his stick, the way he postures his body, will tell one story to the defender, to get the defender to move. [That] opens up the play he really wants to make.

That’s a really, really, really hard skill. It takes a lot of hockey intelligence to do that, to understand the messages you’re sending to a defender. It’s a really elite trait of his.

Fohr, on Sasha Chmelevski’s skating:

The knock on him was always his skating. He kind of skated really wide. He didn’t recover his skating very well, so his feet were always really, really wide. So people were always worried about his skating, his ability to get around the rink.

I think he’s fixed that a little bit, as I’ve seen him over the years. But he’s similar to a Bordeleau type from his ability to make plays. They actually make pretty good comparables.

Fohr, on Kevin Labanc’s Twitter handle:

By the way, he’s got one of my favorite Twitter handles out there with @Str8ToTheBanc. He had that when he was here and I remember the guys gave him a hard time about it. But I loved it.

Fohr, on if Labanc’s USNTDP teammates were jealous that Labanc has such a cool last name:

(laughs) That was probably part of it. To have the cunning to him to be able to do that, right? Kevin never lacked the confidence to pull something off like that, that’s for sure.

Make sure to listen to the entire interview: It’s well worth your time if you’re interested in the draft process for USNTDP players (6:00), which San Jose Sharks scout concentrates on the USNTDP, what Bordeleau’s game looks like (10:00), and how his father (former NHL player Sebastien Bordeleau) helped shape his game (16:00). We also compare Labanc and Bordeleau (23:30) and get a Chmelevski update from Fohr (30:00).

Check out the podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep up with all things San Jose Sharks here:

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Welcome to your new home for San Jose Sharks breaking news, analysis and opinion. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and don't forget to subscribe to SJHN+ for all of our members-only content from Sheng Peng and the National Hockey Now network.
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San Jose Sharks

BREAKING: Sharks Are Talking to Conor Sheary

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Credit: Michael Miller (CC BY-SA 4.0)

When free agency began on October 9th, the question was, “Who would the San Jose Sharks sign?”

After almost two weeks of relative inactivity — besides adding familiar faces Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto and losing franchise icon Joe Thornton — the question became, “What’s Doug Wilson doing?”

What’s Doug Wilson Doing with Sharks Forwards?

San Jose Hockey Now has good news for Sharks fans: Wilson is still active in free agency. So who’s he looking at — Conor Sheary, Erik Haula, or Mikael Granlund? We’ve got the scoop!

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