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Mock Drafts Think Sharks Will Pick Defenseman in 1st Round

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Credit: Seattle Thunderbirds

With last week’s NHL Draft Lottery now complete and the first 16 selection positions set, it’s officially NHL mock draft season!

As for the San Jose Sharks, picking 11th overall, there is a wide variance of opinions on who should be putting on the teal sweater in Montreal this summer.

Chris Peters (Daily Faceoff) has suggested Pavel Mintyukov as his selection at this early date, while both Ryan Kennedy (The Hockey News) and Cam Robinson (EP Rinkside) have named Ryan Chesley. Marco D’Amico (Montreal Hockey Now) and Brandon Holmes (FCHockey) both offered up Kevin Korchinski. Corey Masisak/Corey Pronman (The Athletic) selected Brad Lambert. Adam Kimelman and Mike G. Morreale (NHL) picked Jonathan Lekkerimäki and Pavel Mintyukov, respectively.

Of the five draft-eligibles named above, three are defensemen (Mintyukov, Chesley, Korchinski) and two are forwards (Lambert, Lekkerimäki), and six of the eight mock drafts here have San Jose looking to the back-end. The question is whether or not the San Jose Sharks decided to add to the up-and-coming forward depth, led by William Eklund and Thomas Bordeleau, or to bolster the blueline even further.

Korchinski’s 61 assists this season with the WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds gave him the most assists of any draft-eligible defensemen in over 30 years and he’s been steadily rising on many draft boards.

The Saginaw Spirit blueliner Mintyukov has been recognized as a future power play staple and has had more success finding goals than Korchinski during his time in the OHL.

However, Chesley seems to be the wild card of the three defensemen, having not produced as notably as Mintyukov and Korchinski. But as a right-shot defenseman, he is a playing a premium position. He could be a steal in years to come and both Kennedy and Robinson may be on to something picking him up in their mock drafts.

Lekkerimäki would already have a familiar face in San Jose, having spent part of the 2021-22 season on Djurgårdens IF in the SHL with Eklund. While his numbers in the SHL this season may not impress at first glance, many Sharks fans know that Djurgårdens struggled as a team, and yet some of the players still managed to impress, including Lekkerimäki.

Finally, a name most draft-watchers are familiar with, Lambert split his season with a few teams. The Pelicans and JYP in Finland’s Liiga were where he spent most of the year, where he played with men but did struggle to produce. Should he be available to the Sharks at 11th overall, he would likely be the most obvious choice for Team Teal to pick up.

In regards to Lambert though, his stock is falling in some eyes. Peters thinks Lambert will go in the first round, but not in the lottery:

Who Will Sharks Pick at No. 11? Chris Peters Talks 2022 Draft

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IN OTHER SHARKS NEWS…

Ten Sharks set to represent their home countries at the IIHF World Championship. (NHL)

San Jose Sharks prospect Brandon Coe and the North Bay Battalion have the opportunity to claim OHL Playoffs round two victory on home ice. (Battalion Hockey)

Where Brandon Coe ranks of 25 Sharks players under age 25. (Fear the Fin)

Wear a hockey jersey to a Bay Area Chipotle location on Monday for a BOGO deal! (Mercury News)

William Eklund is prepared to make an impact for the Sharks. (The Hockey Writers)

AROUND THE NHL…

St. Louis Blues goaltending prospect Joel Hofer scores goalie goal in AHL Playoffs. (The Hockey News)

The Toronto Maple Leafs face another Game 7 in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (Sportsnet)

What could the Game 7 plan look like for the Carolina Hurricanes? (Canes&Coffee)

Michael Bunting, Moritz Seider, and Trevor Zegras are the 2022 Calder Trophy nominees. (NBC Sports)

LA Kings recall goaltender Matt Villalta on an emergency basis. (Mayor’s Manor)

The Pittsburgh Penguins face Game 7 in New York:

It’s Going the Distance. Kreider’s Late Goal Forces Game 7

Hampus Lindholm makes a noticeable impact for the Boston Bruins:

Boston Bruins Lindholm Makes Massive Impact In Game 6 Return

The Colorado Avalanche find out their round two opponent:

Avalanche to face St. Louis Blues in Round 2

The Florida Panthers move on to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

Round 1 | Game 6: Florida Panthers 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

New York Islanders have Kieffer Bellows representing well at the World Championships for Team USA:

Bellows Solid in Team USA’s 4-1 Win Over Latvia

What is up with the Vegas Golden Knights and their emojis?

Every Golden Knights Emoji Explained

Philadelphia Flyers sneakily sign a goaltender:

For Flyers, under-the-radar signing could be a big deal

Alexander Ovechkin doesn’t hold back following Washington Capitals postseason elimination:

‘F–d Up Situation’: Ovechkin Doesn’t Hold Back After Another Early Exit For Capitals

What’s next for Danny Dekeyser and the Detroit Red Wings?

Red Wings Role Call: Danny DeKeyser’s Future

Bruce Boudreau is officially set to return behind the bench for the Vancouver Canucks:

Bruce Boudreau Officially Back as Canucks Coach

The Calgary Flames may be fading in first-round series:

Seventh Heaven for Stars is Hell for Flames

Former Sharks staffer hired as head of analytics department for the Montreal Canadiens:

Montreal Canadiens Hire Head Of Analytics Department

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david barnard

if i had only those players on my board at #11, i’d rank them: Brad Lambert Jonathan Lekkerimaki Pavel Mintyukov Ryan Chesley Kevin Korchinski the last 3 players are really close, and much further down on my 1st round board from the top 2 players. i think Lambert is actually a top 5 talent who could be a top line future center if he gets his shot sorted out. Lekkerimaki is a top complimentary player. Mintyukov could end up being 1 of the best blueliners in this draft if he can sort out his decision-making. he’s got the physical tools… Read more »

Eric Pichette

I agree with Lambert and Lekkerimaki from a forward standpoint but if the Sharks do go the defenseman route my preference would be Denton Mateychuk. Seems like a really quality two way guy.

david barnard

i was just going off the players mentioned in the article. i have Jiricek as the highest rated d-man who could actually be there for the Sharks at #11. Mateychuk is a puck carrying zone transition machine ala EK65. extremely busy player with comments on his style of play being “hyper aggressive”. also like EK65 the vision/passing ability/creativity is next level. unlike Karlsson, he doesn’t have a shot that will beat NHL goalies clean from distance. i think he also plays the majority of his time on his off side. also like Karlsson, his backwards skating is rough and he… Read more »

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