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Sharks Favored To Land in Top-3 of Draft

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Credit: Chicago Steel

While the San Jose Sharks have picked up steam following their horrific start to the season, they are still favored to finish near the bottom of the league.

And this year, that could mean being guaranteed to select a franchise-altering player regardless of how the lottery balls fall.

The Sharks currently have the second-best odds to finish with the worst record in the NHL at +150. Only the Connor Bedard-led Chicago Blackhawks have shorter odds at +110.

Rounding out the top-five are the Anaheim Ducks (+700),the Columbus Blue Jackets (+950) and the Montreal Canadiens (+6000).

No other team has odds shorter than +12000.

With San Jose being such resounding favorites to finish last in the NHL comes a shot at an exciting No. 1 pick.

Macklin Celebrini is the overwhelming favorite to be the first overall-pick and has been putting up numbers almost comparable to Bedard in his draft year.

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Through the first two months of the college hockey season, the Boston University forward Celebrini has 10 goals, 15 assists and 25 points in 15 games. That is a 1.67 point-per-game pace for a 17-year-old in his first season at the collegiate level.

He previously had 86 points in 50 games in the USHL with the Chicago Steel and 117 points in 52 games at the U.S. Preps level with Shattuck St. Mary’s.

Celebrini previously had 141 points in 50 games at the 14U level at Shattuck after playing his youth career with the San Jose Jr. Sharks.

He could have franchise-changing potential compared to the likes of Bedard if he returns to the city he played his youth hockey in.

Bedard put up a resounding 143 points in 57 games in his draft year while putting up 100 in 62 the year before with the Western Hockey League’s Regina Pats.

While Bedard’s numbers are higher, the dominance from a freshman in college hockey that Celebrini has been showing is very rare.

For context, Jack Eichel finished with 71 points in 40 games (1.7 points-per game) in his draft year in 2015 before being selected second-overall behind Connor McDavid.

There has rarely been a freshman to reach those heights since.

But even if the lottery balls don’t fall in their favor, the Sharks will have a solid choice of consolation prizes.

If you can even call them that…

Cole Eiserman has 10 goals and 14 points in nine games with the U.S. National Team Development program and is projected to score over 50 goals by the end of the season as a 17-year-old.

He is committed to Boston University, but there is a fair chance he bypasses college altogether and makes his NHL debut just over a month after turning 18.

The Massachusetts native has already shown the potential to have one of the most elite shots in the game and could be a franchise-altering scoring winger for the Sharks should they fall to second-overall.

Ivan Demidov, the projected third-overall pick, has seven points in seven games in the Russian junior league but has shown an elite skill-set that rivals the likes of Matvei Michkov.

His playmaking and offensive IQ are beyond his years and he could be a cornerstone for years to come.

While things do not look too promising for the San Jose Sharks right now, they could be getting a lot better pretty soon.

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