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Where Does Sharks’ Current Prospects Pool Rank Historically?



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

Will Smith, William Eklund, Shakir Mukhamadullin, Filip Bystedt, and Quentin Musty appear to be the San Jose Sharks’ consensus top-five prospects.

Is this the Sharks’ best top-five prospects group in 20 or so years?

That was the question that San Jose Hockey Now Podcast co-host Keegan McNally posed during our most recent episode, after we counted down our pre-season ranking of the Sharks’ top-10 prospects.

San Jose Hockey Now’s Pre-Season Top-10 Sharks Prospects

I’m going to try to answer the question.

To do so, I’ve gathered three decades of San Jose Sharks’ pre-season top-10 prospects rankings from The Hockey News Yearbook, from 1991-92 to 2020-21. The 2021-22 to 2023-24 rankings are SJHN’s.

Before answering the question, which I’m going to try to do with some special guests, I’m going to share each ranking, from the San Jose Sharks’ 1991-92 expansion campaign to the most recent.

There are some gems from these rankings, they’re very much worth revisiting.

For example, before the 2011-12 season, according to THN, the Sharks’ top-five prospects were, in order, Nick Petrecki, Matt Nieto, Taylor Doherty, Harri Sateri, and Tommy Wingels. Safe to say, and no offense to Nieto and Wingels’s fine NHL careers, but that might be the worst top-five in franchise history.

Before 2006-07, they wrote of seventh-ranked prospect Marc-Edouard Vlasic, “Power play ace needs lots of meat on his bones.” That season, the 19-year-old defenseman would earn an All-Rookie Team nod, on his way to becoming perhaps the best defensive defenseman of his generation.

The point of all this, of course, isn’t to criticize past rankings. Like scouting itself, these rankings are always exercises in failure. You win some, you lose some.

Instead, I’m trying to contextualize the San Jose Sharks’ current prospects pool, while remembering the ups and downs of the franchise’s farm system.

So let’s have fun over the next few days!

Here are Sharks prospects rankings from 2010 to 2023:

Sharks Top-10 Prospects Rankings: 2010 to 2023

From 2000 to 2009:

Sharks Top-10 Prospects Rankings: 2000 to 2009

From 1991 to 1999:

Sharks Top-10 Prospects Rankings: 1991 to 1999

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