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Sharks’ Mock Draft Check: Lekkerimäki, Korchinski, Mintyukov Standing Out

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Credit: Brian Liesse/Seattle Thunderbirds

There are less than two weeks until the 2022 NHL Draft and that means mock draft season is going full steam ahead. With the 11th-overall selection, the San Jose Sharks have a lot of possible options on the table. Which draft-eligibles have been the most popular pick for the Sharks in recent mock drafts?

Danila Yurov – Adam Kimelman (NHL)

Pavel Mintyukov – Mike G. Morreale (NHL), Devin Little (The Hockey Writers)

Conor Geekie – NHL source (The Athletic)

Marco Kasper – Marco D’Amico (Montreal Hockey Now)

Denton Mateychuk – Last Word on Hockey staff (Last Word on Sports)

Kevin Korchinski – Brandon Holmes (FCHockey), Bob McKenzie (TSN – draft ranking, not a mock draft)

Jonathan Lekkerimäki – Smaht Scouting staff (Smaht Scouting), Corey Pronman (The Athletic), Fear the Fin (SB Nation)

Compared to May’s mock draft check-in, where there were five names mentioned, this time around we have seven options provided, four forwards (Yurov, Geekie, Kasper, Lekkerimäki) and three defensemen (Mintyukov, Mateychuk, Korchinski), a change from the focus on the blueline the first time around.

Mock Drafts Think Sharks Will Pick Defenseman in 1st Round

For what it’s worth, McKenzie’s rankings, which are considered the closest to a league-wide pre-Draft consensus, had from No. 7 to 15, Joakim Kemell, Lekkerimaki, Matthew Savoie, Kasper, Korchinski, Mintyukov, Geekie, Yurov, Frank Nazar, and Brad Lambert. The 10 NHL scouts who McKenzie surveyed also think Korchinski, Mintyukov, and Geekie have a good chance to vault into the top-10.

This is a solid range of the prospects who might be available to the San Jose Sharks at No. 11.

Danila Yurov has a little more work to go than the rest of the list, but he has the potential to be a quality producer once he is ready for the move to North America. Appearing in 21 games in the KHL with the Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Yurov didn’t pick up any points and yet still caught the attention of scouts everywhere. He saw limited ice time on a men’s team with Metallurg. However, in the MHL with the Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk, the Russian forward picked up 36 points in 23 games and showed off what he could do amongst his peers.

Pavel Mintyukov is an offensive defenseman who is expected to produce at the NHL level, however, his defensive play leaves a bit to be desired. He picked up 62 points in 67 games with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit this season but finished a -14. However, for his first season in North America, the Russian blueliner picked up 17 goals and showed that he could make the transition to the smaller sheet of ice with ease.

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Conor Geekie is one of the smartest guys on the ice no matter who else is on it with him. The forward’s hands move just as fast as his head. As with Mateychuk, he has room to improve in terms of puck handling, but he managed to be a major player on a stacked Winnipeg ICE roster throughout the season. His skating is a question mark too, but he’s the prototypical big centerman who teams fall in love with.

Marco Kasper has a grit to his game but his skating ability is what is often discussed when Kasper’s name comes up in conversation. He’s a fast power forward with positive decision-making skills and an ability to find space on the ice that others may not. Though his 11 points in 46 games with the SHL’s Rögle BK are not the most impressive numbers of this list, he was playing in a men’s league and holding his own throughout the year.

Denton Mateychuk is one of those defensemen that you love to watch and see everywhere. He is involved with every play that happens when he’s on the ice and has incredible vision, though his puck handling could use some improvement. However, when Mateychuk (5) does stuff like this, his puck handling is one of the last things you think about.

While Kevin Korchinski was a bit of a surprise showing up as the San Jose Sharks’ pick in May’s discussion of mock drafts, his draft stock has risen and it’s possible he goes even higher. His run to the WHL Finals with the Seattle Thunderbirds put plenty of eyes on him and, while he didn’t seem to be at his peak, the defenseman picked up 19 points in 25 games and was consistently the guy running the top power play, with 14 (2G, 12A) of his points coming on the man advantage.

Jonathan Lekkerimäki, having spent the season playing with William Eklund for Djurgårdens IF, managed to turn a lot of heads despite the team struggling overall. The Swedish forward is known for his shot and not giving up on the puck, working to find the back of the net in every situation. Though he picked up just nine points in 26 games with Djurgårdens IF, he picked up another 35 points in an additional 26 games with the Djurgårdens IF J20 team.

San Jose Hockey Now also spoke with NHL scouts about each of these prospects recently.

Scouts Talk Lambert, Lekkerimaki, Nazar & More (+)

Scouts Talk Geekie, Kasper, Yurov (+)

Scouts Talk Korchinski, Mintyukov, Mateychuk (+)

 

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Nick H.

I still think Lambert is a dark horse candidate to be picked at 11.

Sheng Peng

Maybe, but this many red flags, this early? If the Sharks had a later pick, more likely? For example, would the Sharks have picked Merkley at No. 11 in 2018? I’d guess not

david barnard

most of those “red flags” are pure speculation/BS. the facts are that this player does have boom or bust potential, HOWEVER, it is undeniable that he has some of the best tools in this draft. i’m willing to bet on talent. and the fact that you can probably get him well past where he SHOULD go, makes taking that risk a lot less riskier. he’s not a Merkley. Lambert’s pace and effort level are far more consistent at their similar points in time. Lambert’s 2-way ability is much more pronounced than Merkley’s was. to Merkley’s credit he was producing much… Read more »

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