Artemi Kniazev was the surprise star from San Jose Sharks development camp last week.
In a camp highlighted by 2021 first-round pick William Eklund, 2020 first-round pick Ozzy Wiesblatt, 2020 second-round pick Thomas Bordeleau, and 2018 first-round pick Ryan Merkley, it was Kniazev who perhaps opened the most eyes during Thursday’s prospects scrimmage.
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“Kniazev [was one] of the top-three or four guys on the ice the entire game,” director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. noted. The 2019 second-round pick was indeed a constant around the puck all night.
Not so coincidentally, the San Jose Sharks have a wide-open spot on defense right now. They have six veterans — Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Mario Ferraro, Nikolai Knyzhov, and Radim Simek — earmarked for the opening night roster. But who’s going to be the seventh defenseman?
Kniazev, Merkley, Brinson Pasichnuk, Santeri Hatakka, Jaycob Megna, Nicolas Meloche, and Jake Middleton are the contenders — and there’s no clear-cut favorite right now.
Could it be the 20-year-old Kniazev? San Jose Hockey Now reached out to an NHL scout, from outside the San Jose organization, to get his thoughts on the Russian rearguard’s upside. Is it realistic for him to make the San Jose Sharks out of camp?
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