Most Mondays this off-season, we’ll do a Sharks Prospects Update.
It’s not every day that a college hockey player earns SportsCenter’s top play, much less a freshman:
— Michigan Hockey (@umichhockey) November 21, 2020
But second-round selection Thomas Bordeleau isn’t the only 2020 San Jose Sharks draft pick who’s made a fantastic NCAA debut: Alex Young scored a highlight reel goal for Colgate in his first game.
First career game, first career goal ✅
— Colgate Men's Hockey (@ColgateMIH) November 22, 2020
That’s said, let’s focus on a draft pick from seven years ago: Will Emil Galimov ever play for the San Jose Sharks?
But before we share what a San Jose Hockey Now source says about that, let’s run down how Sharks players and prospects are producing around the world:
|Jonathan Dahlen||Allsvenskan||Timrå IK||9||7||12||19||18:51|
|Joel Kellman||Allsvenskan||Kristianstads IK||14||3||2||5||20:02|
|Marcus Sorensen||Allsvenskan||HC Vita Hästen||14||11||13||24||23:06|
|Josef Korenar||Czech||HC Ocelari Trinec||5||3||1||0.881|
|Adam Raska||Czech||HC Ocelari Trinec||2||0||0||0||9:11|
|Adam Raska||Czech 2||HC Frydek-Mistek||7||0||1||1|
|Joachim Blichfeld||Denmark||Frederikshavn White Hawks||5||2||2||4||19:43|
|Alexander True||Denmark||Rungsted Seier Capital||1||0||0||0|
|Ivan Chekhovich||KHL||Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||10||3||4||7||17:45|
|Emil Galimov||KHL||SKA St. Petersburg||10||4||3||7||17:14|
|Alexei Melnichuk||KHL||Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod||10||3||5||0.91|
|Yegor Spiridonov||KHL||SKA St. Petersburg||2||0||0||0||7:47|
|Tony Sund||KHL||Dinamo Riga||17||0||8||8||19:40|
|Artemi Kniazev||MHL||Irbis Kazan||2||1||0||1||18:42|
|Yegor Spiridonov||MHL||SKA-1946 St. Petersburg||7||2||4||6||18:15|
|Zachary Emond||QMJHL||Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||8||2||5||0.884|
|Fredrik Handemark||SHL||Malmö Redhawks||15||2||7||9||17:59|
|Linus Oberg||SHL||Örebro HK||18||7||0||6||13:44|
|Danil Gushchin||USHL||Muskegon Lumberjacks||4||5||3||8|
|Artemi Kniazev||VHL||Bars Kazan||3||0||1||1||15:30|
|Yegor Spiridonov||VHL||SKA-Neva St. Petersburg||3||2||1||3||10:28|
Through 2017, Galimov hadn’t really made much of a case for NHL duty. Playing mostly for Lokomotiv, the 2013 seventh-round pick hadn’t risen above a bottom-six role.
This changed in 2017-18, however, when a return to his hometown Neftekhimik resulted in career highs in goals (15, leading the team) and time on ice (17:19 per game) for the playoff-bound KHL side.
This breakout campaign, however, didn’t exactly ignite the 6-foot-2 winger’s career: He endured a relatively unproductive follow-up season and rebounded in limited icetime in 2019-20, notching 14 goals in fourth-line minutes.
The currently-injured Galimov is off to a strong start this season for a second-place SKA squad — the 28-year-old’s 17:14 is third among all SKA forwards.
Last night Emil Galimov was unstoppable. As a result – first career hat trick! pic.twitter.com/u3fe6GlV8s
— KHL (@khl_eng) October 27, 2020
Suffice to say, for a San Jose Sharks forward group that needs all the NHL-ready talent it can get, the late bloomer’s development has to at least qualify as intriguing.
Unfortunately for the Sharks, Galimov may never be more than an intrigue. According to a Russian source, he’s under contract with SKA until 2022. After 2022, he’ll be a free agent but “there is little chance that he will sign in North America.”
“I’m not sure that he will want to go to the NHL at 30,” the source shared.
It makes sense — there’s not exactly an extensive history of non-elite KHL forwards coming over and making an NHL impact in Galimov’s age range.
So what’s his fate? It appears Galimov will be one of many, an NHL-caliber talent destined to never play an NHL game.
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