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Chris Peters on Who Sharks Might Pick in Late 1st/Early 2nd Round

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Credit: Luka Dragicevic, WHL

Naturally, all the talk around the San Jose Sharks and the Draft is about the No. 4 pick.

Leo Carlsson or Matvei Michkov or Will Smith? Or could GM Mike Grier go off the board?

But of course, the Sharks have another first-rounder, acquired from the New Jersey Devils in February for Timo Meier. That pick will be No. 25 or 26, depending on the result of the Vegas Golden Knights-Edmonton Oilers second-round tilt.

Burns to Conference Finals, Meier Trade Pick Will Be No. 25 or 26 for Sharks

They also have an early second-round selection, No. 36.

So who could the San Jose Sharks be targeting at No. 25/26 and 36?

Last week, I spoke with Draft expert Chris Peters of FloHockey about San Jose’s lottery pick:

Draft Lottery Preview: Chris Peters on Who Sharks Might Pick From No. 1 to 6

I also chatted with him about who the Sharks could be eyeing late in the first and early in the second. He mentioned one forward that David Quinn might love and four defensemen. Or, how about a goaltender?

Sheng Peng: Who do you see the San Jose Sharks possibly targeting with their late first-round pick?

Chris Peters: I think there’s gonna be a lot of defensemen available down there. It’s not an amazing year to be looking for defensemen [at the top of the Draft].

Maybe you take a shot on a high upside, highly-productive player like a Lukas Dragicevic, maybe an Oliver Bonk.

Dragicevic, he’s not a tremendous defender, but he’s good offensively. Bonk is a pretty good two-way player. I thought he had a really nice year in London, still going on with the playoffs. I thought he was really impressive in the Top Prospects game when he pretty much gave Connor Bedard all he could handle in that game defensively.

Up front, I think about the kind of players that David Quinn would like to have to work with, I think of a guy with some speed and tenacity. That’s Gavin Brindley from the University of Michigan.

Not a lock to go in the first round, by any means. He’s a guy I like an awful lot just because I think he’s got such a tremendous, tremendous motor. He played with [Adam] Fantilli down the stretch this season, like his offense didn’t really take off until he started playing with Fantilli, but it shows his ability to maximize playing with an elite player.

Also, the fact that his work ethic is so off the charts. He’s the kind of guy who will endear himself to the coaching staff, endear himself to scouts.

He might not be a top-six player, he might be a bottom-six player in the NHL. You could conservatively put him in the middle-six as a projection. But if you get a player that’s an everyday NHL’er late in the first round, that’s still a pretty good pick.

SP: What other Draft trends might pop up around here?

CP: This draft has a very interesting middle tier, and I think it gets very unpredictable from eight on, maybe even sooner, in terms of order and the types of players that will go.

I think the goalies could potentially disrupt the first round a little bit if somebody wants to take a goaltender [like Michael Hrabal or Carson Bjarnason] in the first round. Not saying it will happen, but it’s possible. How does that shake out the rest of the first round and the early second round? Will we see a big run on goalies in the second? I think that could potentially be the case this year.

Which defensemen will emerge?

Basically, I think there are two defensemen [David Reinbacher and Axel Sandin Pellikka] that I feel very comfortable projecting in the top-20.

I’m sure there’ll be [other defensemen] first-rounders, there are other players [besides Dragicevic and Bonk] like Mikhail Gulyayev and Dmitri Simashev that have the Russian factor attached on as well, that would probably be higher if not for everything else.

There are defenseman to be had, it’s just you got to be really selective about the guys that you’re looking at in the various stages of the first round.

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