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New Sharks GM Grier Shows Trust in Scouts, Trading Back, Picking Bystedt



MONTREAL — Do you trust Tim Burke and Doug Wilson Jr.?

If you do, then keep the faith. Draft picks take a while to develop, so there’s no telling what Filip Bystedt will become.

“Doug and his staff did a good job of identifying players that we wanted, and the [11th] pick was coming around,” new San Jose Sharks GM Mike Grier said. “Those players were starting to become not available. We thought it was best to move back, get some value.”

Kevin Korchinski, Marco Kasper, Matthew Savoie, and Pavel Mintyukov went right before San Jose was slated to pick – so the Sharks traded No. 11 to the Arizona Coyotes for No. 27, 34, and 45. That’s a high first-rounder for a low first and two seconds.

I’m not here to tell you that the Sharks made a great pick at No. 27 – I’ve never seen Bystedt play, so I have no opinion of him.

“Maybe a reach?” one NHL scout mused. “Kind of Nathan Gaucher-like, but not as competitive. But big, skates well, can shoot it, good defensively. Don’t love his hockey sense and is a little soft for his size.”

This scout offered a B-/C+ grade for the pick.

Both Gaucher, who went No. 21 to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Bystedt are 6-foot-3 centers.

Another scout offered: “Big center. Great skater. Looks like a stud. Has underachieved a bit.”

“He’s a 6-foot-3 center who’s one of the smoother skaters in the whole Draft,” Wilson Jr. told local media. “He’s won a [U20 league] championship and he won [the U18 World Juniors] gold medal. That’s a pretty good place to start, including the upside that he has offensively.”

This is how Bystedt described himself: “I can play in both ends, but pretty much more on the offensive side. I like to watch Jonathan Huberdeau a lot, and I try to mirror my game after him.”

If you like how Burke and Wilson Jr. have steered the Sharks’ Drafts since 2017 – that’s the first year that Wilson Jr. ran the Draft – then you have to, like new GM Mike Grier did, trust your scouts.

“I thought Mike made a gutsy move there,” Burke said. “I really did. That’s not an easy move to make, especially in your first NHL Draft. He didn’t hesitate. I was really impressed.”

Trading the No. 11 pick also, obviously, isn’t just about No. 27 Bystedt. Let’s see what the Sharks do with No. 34 and 45 in Day 2 of the Draft.

Now if you’re not a fan of Burke and Wilson Jr.’s work, fair enough, complain away about passing on Joakim Kemmell or Jonathan Lekkerimaki or Frank Nazar or Brad Lambert or whomever.

Otherwise, let’s see how it works out in about five years.

Wilson Jr. said that the plan is to have Bystedt attend San Jose Sharks development camp next week.

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It was a gutsy trade. If for no other reason, there’s alomost a 100% chance someone pretty darn good got picked between 11 and 27 who the Sharks could have gotten. I did some research on picks 11, 27, 34 and 45. Here’s who went at 11 from 2005-17 (meaningful players only) Kopitar, Jonathan Bernier, Brandon Sutter, Ryan Ellis, Jack Campbell, Filip Forsberg, Kevin Fiala, Lawson Crouse, Gabe Vilardi At 27, 34 and 45 Latendrasse, Nuevirth, Jeff Petry, Brendan Smith, John Carlson, Jake Allen. Ryan Spooner, Vlady Namestnikov, Scott Mayfield, Markus Granland, Anthony Stolarz, Jacob Larsson, Travis Dermott, Brett Howden,… Read more »

Bob D

Horrible move. I didn’t think the franchise could get any worse, but here it is. You traded your 2nd round pick last year for lousy Hill, and now you trade #11 for more 2nd round picks? Cannot get any dumber. The only thing we are going to see in five years is this franchise still at the bottom, a lot of excuses and finger pointing, and maybe even relocation due to lack of attendance. Tim Burke thinks it’s a bold move? Why, because he trusted you? Sucking up to keep your job? The team didn’t need another bottom six F,… Read more »


Doug Wilson Sr. is the one responsible for this mess. Hardly any pics and too many grossly overpaid d-men so not much cap room. Give Grier a chance… He inherited someone else’s dumpster fire.. I’m not surprised Wilson escaped his own disaster.

timorous me

I’m glad Nostradamus himself is here, but I have to say, rather than wasting your time telling us how the career of Sharks prospects will play out, you might want to put your power to greater use, either for society or your own financial gain! Let’s break this down rationally, though. First off, if you’re Mike Grier, you can’t worry about the trade of 45 for Hill–it wasn’t your move and it shouldn’t count for anything, logically. Second, if we look at the trade of pick 11 for 27, 34, and 45, in terms of the value assigned to picks,… Read more »


Even the trade for Hill, which is clearly in the bust territory now but at the time seemed a bit better, isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. While Hill didn’t have a great year and likely peaks as a good backup, maybe a 1A, 1B goalie, I looked at the players taken over the last several years at pick 43. By comparison, that result for pick 43 isn’t terrible, even if now we’re looking to dump him and will likely at most get a mid round pick for him. 2010 was Brad Ross who played 72… Read more »

david barnard

early 2nd round has a lot of value historically. this particular draft had about 35-45 real talents (potential difference makers) in it. a typically good/strong draft has about 50 or so in it.

david barnard

he’s not “going to suck”. he’ll play in the NHL. the pick wasn’t THAT FAR off the board. that being said, it is fair to criticize it for what it is (a reach), and dare i say a little too “safe”. especially since there was objectively better talent to be had.

david barnard

the trade was good and solid decision-making in this draft, imo. i divided the 1st round group of players (and some “wobblers” from the early 2nd round) into 4 tiers of talent+where i thought each player’s reasonable range ranking was at. the top 2 tiers had exactly 8 players combined. tier 3 had the most players (18) in it, with tier 4 the second most (15). that’s why trading back was such a good move from my perspective. my only caveat was if a tier 1 (or perhaps even tier 2) player fell to the Sharks at #11, i might… Read more »

david barnard

i don’t in anyway want to make this about the young player. he’s done NOTHING wrong and doesn’t deserve to be torn down/dissected. this is totally about the Sharks “brain trust”. as SP points out, you either have faith in them or you don’t. put me in the camp of “little trust”. i applaud the trade, so i’m leaning to giving the new GM credit for having the balls to make that trade. however, the pick was a complete whiff, and that smells like DWJr to me. after a brief flirtation with choosing to go with smaller, more skilled, players… Read more »


I will raise my hand in trusting DWjr. He has SO much more information than any of us have. They’ve talked to this kid, his coaches and such. They know more than me. I simply read some reports. As for who they didn’t pick, maybe they did their due diligence and weren’t impressed.
This is the draft. We have to wait a few years. This ain’t football where they slot in immediately.

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