With hockey underway for all leagues worldwide, how are some of the next San Jose Sharks starting their seasons?
Here are some early observations from Sharks prospects this season as they look to continue their development. All stats are through Nov. 18.
2023 1st round pick, 4th overall
Boston College, NCAA
Will Smith is one of the top producers in the NCAA as a freshman, ranking third behind presumed first-overall pick, Macklin Celebrini and linemate Gabe Perreault. The production has been there for Smith, but his performances can feel lacking. Smith is usually in more of a supportive role, while linemates Perrault and Ryan Leonard are doing the majority of the work on a given shift. This could be coaching as he works on more of a two-way game and is not trying to get caught out of position, but it leaves you wanting to see Smith be more active. This isn’t to say that Smith has been passive; he is active in the offensive zone and has at least one dazzling play a game, but he is picking his spots to do so. Consistency will be big for Smith as he continues his freshman season.
Will Smith goal!
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) October 27, 2023
Smith’s USA line has taken over as the top line for Boston College, and they have been relied on to provide the offense for the number third-ranked team. They are usually on the ice right after a goal against to help right the ship and are on the top power play unit. With Smith, his production can be seen as positive, even though he may not be playing his best hockey. If he can continue to round out his game and be more consistent in his own zone, the production could take off. While it’s still very early, a second season at Boston College might be more likely, especially if Cutter Gauthier turns pro after the season.
2023 1st round pick, 26th overall
Sudbury Wolves, OHL
It’s been a tough week for Quentin Musty. He missed two games with an undisclosed injury, returned and received a match penalty for a slew foot, and was suspended for two games. But it has been a good season overall for Musty. His line is asked to carry the load for the Wolves, and he and fellow first-round pick Dalibor Dvorský are doing so. Musty has played a lot of minutes so far for the Wolves and has been producing mainly at even strength. Of his 14 points, only four are on the power play.
Quentin Musty wins it OT pic.twitter.com/iEmkQm4mbg
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) October 14, 2023
Watching Musty play is a lot like watching Timo Meier. He is bigger, stronger, and faster than the other people on the ice, and Musty knows it. His ability to create in the offensive zone is something to watch. He can stop on a dime and find a cross-ice pass to a linemate, or if needed, just put his head down and make a power move to the front of the net. The most impressive thing about Musty is that even when he is having an off game, he can do something special in the biggest moment to win it. Meanwhile, Musty will still need to work on the details in his own zone as he faces stiffer competition.
2023 2nd round pick, 36th overall
London Knights, OHL
Kasper Halttunen is tied for third in the OHL for goals at 15. He jumped from the professional Finnish Liiga league to the OHL this offseason. Haltunnen has become a scoring machine for the Knights. This should be great, right? Digging into where Haltunnen is scoring provides more context though. The majority of his points are coming from the power play. Eight of his 15 goals are power play tallies and four of his seven assists come from the power play. It’s great that Halttunen is scoring, but he is a power play specialist right now. That won’t cut it at the highest level.
— London Knights (@LondonKnights) November 18, 2023
He has spent most of the season on the second line but has now seen a demotion to the third line. The London Knights have plenty of NHL talent in their forward group, including Easton Cowan, Denver Barkey, and Jacob Julien, but Halttunen hasn’t earned the coaching staff’s trust yet. In a recent game with the Knights trying to come back from a defect, Halttunen didn’t see the ice. Credit to Head Coach Dale Hunter for trying to put his player in a position to succeed early in his career, but it will be telling if, as the season goes along, Halttunen can start to earn a more prominent role in crunch time. For now, he is a power play specialist who is taking advantage of the opportunity.
2023 4th round pick, 123 overall
Portland Winterhawks, WHL
The Portland Winterhawks are an absolute wagon, and the 5’9″ defenseman drives it. Luca Cagnoni has been one of the key reasons that the Winterhawks are as good as they are. His game can be best described as effortless. He is the main puck mover for the Winterhawks and runs their power play, one of the best in the WHL. While Cagnoni is racking up the points with the man advantage (1 goal, 12 assists), he is creating the offense for his teammates. He does this with his excellent vision and decision-making. His ability to draw opposing defenders and create space makes Cagnoni dangerous. Expect Luca Cagnoni and the Portland Winterhawks to go deep in the playoffs this season.
Cagnoni primary assist pic.twitter.com/lPtGpyaIXL
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) November 9, 2023
2022 2nd round pick, 34th overall
Northeastern is having a rough season this year. After winning their first two games, they’ve lost seven straight. Cam Lund has taken a huge step up this season though. Playing on the top line and power play, Lund is asked to do a lot for the Huskies. He is the main puck carrier and asked to create much of their transition game. Lund leads the team in shots and assists and is second on goals and points. While the Huskies aren’t winning, Lund is doing everything he can for a team in transition this season.
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) October 8, 2023
2022 3rd round pick, 76 overall
After missing most of last season in the USHL with a knee injury, Michael Fisher is making the jump from high school to college. Fisher was considered a raw prospect when the Sharks drafted him, and he would need plenty of time to develop, but there has been improvement in his game this season. The 6’2″ right-handed defenseman was known for his offensive prowess but has settled in as more defensive so far. His offensive flashes are still there, but he hasn’t earned the trust yet to get more opportunities. As Northeastern rebuilds, Fisher should continue to be a big piece.
Don't mind us, we've gone FISHin' 🐟
Michael Fisher ties the game with his first goal as a Husky!
— Northeastern Men’s Hockey (@GoNUmhockey) October 27, 2023
2022 1st round pick, 26th overall
Linkoping HC, SHL
After winning the SHL Rookie of the Year last season, many fans expected Filip Bystedt to take the next step this season. Bystest started the season for Linkoping as the first-line center but has mostly been the 2C. As of late, Bystedt has started as the third-line center. Bystedt shows flashes of offense and why he can be a foundational piece for the San Jose Sharks but still has lapses in the defensive zone. Early in the SHL season, Bystedt feels to have plateaued instead of continuing his growth. His numbers are on pace to be equivalent to last year, and he has only seen his ice time jump up by less than a minute.
Filip Bystedt's goal from yesterday. His 1st of the season. pic.twitter.com/5u5w5KHT2O
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) September 30, 2023
2022 2nd round pick, 45th overall
Linkoping HC, SHL
After missing the first half of last season, Mattias Havelid finished the season strong and has picked up where he left off. He has already surpassed his production from last year with seven points in 19 games. His time on ice is down by about two minutes compared to last season. Havelid has been mostly playing as the seventh defenseman for Linkoping. The goal for Havelid should be to try and climb up the defensive ladder as the season goes on.
Mattias Havelid's goal from today. His first of the season. pic.twitter.com/LPhR1mjjrK
— JD Young (@MyFryHole) November 18, 2023
2020 7th round pick, 196 overall
Arizona State, NCAA
2020 7th round pick, 210
University of Vermont, NCAA
2021 6th round pick, 177 overall
Västerviks IK, HockeyAllsvenskan
2021 7th round pick, 199 overall
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk, KHL
2022 4th round pick, 108 overall
Langley Rivermen, BCHL
Save %: .914
2022 5th round pick, 140 overall
Halifax Moosehead, QMJHL
Games: 21 games
2022 6th round pick, 172 overall
University of Connecticut, NCAA
2022 7th round pick, 195 overall
University of Vermont, NCAA
2022 7th round pick, 217 overall
Penn State, NCAA
2023 3rd round pick, 71 overall
Youngstown Phantoms, USHL
2023 5th round pick, 130 overall
2023 5th round pick, 132 overall
Bemidji State University, NCAA
2023 7th round pick, 196 overall
Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL
2023 7th round pick, 203 overall
Dynamo Moskva, KHL
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.
Get SJHN in your inbox!
Extra Hour Hockey Training
Cathy’s Power Skating
What Long-Term Defensive Lessons Must Eklund, Sharks Learn? (+)
SJHN Daily: Emberson, Carpenter Placed on IR
3 Plays I Liked From Addison Last Night (+)
Sharks Locker Room: Starting To Score, Still Not Defending
Sharks Almost Author Great Comeback, Lose 6-5 to Rangers
Patrick Marleau’s Favorite San Jose Restaurants
Everything Grier Said: From Plattner to Quinn to Celebrini (+)
SJHN Daily: Ex-Jr. Sharks Coach Kevin Whitmer Arrested for Sexual Assault on Minor
Winners & Losers From Calen Addison Trade
What’s NHL Scout’s Take on Calen Addison? (+)
Should Sharks Trade or Keep Blackwood?
Sharks Locker Room: Hertl, Quinn Bemoan Powerless 5-on-3
Sharks Locker Room: Quinn Likes How Team Stood Up to Wilson, Bailey ‘Starving’ for NHL Shot
Sharks Locker Room: Quinn Praises Eklund’s ‘More Complete’ Game, Hertl on Blocking Out Outside
Sharks Locker Room: Duclair, Ferraro, Quinn Talk Turkey of a Performance
Sharks Team & Cap Info
SJHN on Facebook