The San Jose Sharks have acquired winger Ryan Donato from the Minnesota Wild for a 2021 third-round pick.
This pick was originally Pittsburgh’s and sent to San Jose in exchange for Patrick Marleau at the Trade Deadline.
“Ryan is an offensively-gifted young player who loves to compete and use his terrific shot,” San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson said. “His game had shown steady improvement each season and we think his best hockey is ahead of him.”
Interestingly, Wilson’s press release statement directly contradicts a Donato report that I received from an NHL scout last week, when Donato and teammate Devan Dubnyk to the San Jose Sharks began gaining steam.
While lauding Donato’s skill, this scout went out of his way to say, “His lack of compete has turned me off.” See more of this scout’s report here:
We’ll see who’s right. The 24-year-winger has just one year and $1.9 million left on his current deal, so we should see the potential RFA’s best during a contract year. Donato did scored 14 goals in fourth-line ice-time this year, a testament to his scoring potential.
So we have the Marleau connection, we have to have a Joe Thornton connection. Donato is the son of ex-Boston Bruins winger Ted Donato…who was Thornton’s teammate during Jumbo’s first two seasons in the NHL.
Ryan Donato with his dad pic.twitter.com/j9YqoOtMWg
— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) October 5, 2020
Donato also played with Thornton in 2003-04 in Boston.
Going back to Dubnyk, the goaltender has been the primary focus of San Jose Sharks trade rumors over the past week. Per Jessi Pierce, it looks like San Jose will be sending a fifth-round pick in 2022 for Dubnyk. We’ll see if there’s more to this deal shortly.
Official. Hearing the Dubnyk deal to San Jose is nearly done too (for a 5th round pick in 2022) https://t.co/KLIqhgjSMv
— 𝗝𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶 𝗣𝗶𝗲𝗿𝗰𝗲 (@jessi_pierce) October 5, 2020
More on this story from San Jose Hockey Now as it develops, including detailed Donato and Dubnyk scouting reports, along with Wilson and Donato’s afternoon media availabilities.
USNTDP coach Nick Fohr on Bordeleau’s Hockey IQ, Chmelevski’s Skating, Labanc’s Confidence
It’s Thomas Bordeleau Week here at San Jose Hockey Now!
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.
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).
BREAKING: Sharks Are Talking to Conor Sheary
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?”
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!
Who’s Best Option for Sharks’ Third-Line Center?
Kyle and JD put out a call for a mailbag and you responded! So much so that we had to ask for some help for your San Jose Sharks questions. We are joined by SB Nation’s Sie Morley to talk hockey, among other things. We look at reverse retro jerseys and why they are a thing, the Sharks goaltending, and if Martin Jones can bounce back (8:30). Also, who will be the third-line center (12:15) and how will San Jose Sharks fans treat Joe Thornton when they see him in blue (18:30)? Check out the podcast on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Keep up with all things San Jose Sharks here: