“There aren’t a lot of bona fide [No. 2 centers] but there are plenty of No. 3’s that are out there.”
That’s one NHL scout’s assessment of the UFA landscape for centermen this off-season.
This is especially relevant to the San Jose Sharks, as Doug Wilson’s top priorities this off-season are addressing his goaltending and adding a third-line center.
“A good third-line center,” another NHL scout opined, “you have to be able to take the other guy’s game away.”
So who might help the San Jose Sharks in that department?
We took a first look at some of the UFA candidates for San Jose’s 3C role last week, some more unlikely than others: David Krejci, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Phillip Danault, Mikael Granlund, Alex Wennberg, Nick Foligno, Erik Haula, Tyler Bozak, Nick Bonino, Barclay Goodrow, Paul Stastny, Ryan Getzlaf, Carl Soderberg, Derick Brassard, Derek Stepan, Travis Zajac, Derek Ryan, and Brandon Sutter.
San Jose Hockey Now spoke with three NHL scouts about these 18 pivots.
Let’s get their thoughts about the second tier of the group — Haula, Bozak, Bonino, Goodrow, Stastny, and Getzlaf — save for Getzlaf, a more realistic group of targets for the San Jose Sharks than the top tier of Nugent-Hopkins and company.
Scout #1: Stastny is a smart player. I worry about his skating. I don’t think Getzlaf is great skater either. But I have more time for Getzlaf than Stastny, personally.
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