Like their team, San Jose improved their crest fairly recently and now the once cartoon-ish shark appears edgier and more intimidating. Placed on the shield like this with the added sunset, in my opinion, lends to the California motif. It's not a huge departure from what they had before, but it is an upgrade none the less.
1st pick last year: William Wrenn (Denver, WCHA) San Jose didn’t have a first round pick last year and waited until the 43rd overall selection to take the blueliner who hails from Anchorage, Alaska. He’s not going to ever challenge Paul Coffey’s scoring records, but he should provide some stability in his own end. The sharks like his character and being named captain of the gold medal winning U18 team in 2009 shows he has some good leadership qualities.
The Good: Logan Couture (9th overall, 2007) San Jose traded up to get Couture in 2007 and while he never seemed to get any respect from Team Canada at the World Junior Championship, he’s making San Jose look good for aggressively going after him. The centre from London, Ontario put up 53 points in just 42 games with Worcester of the AHL this year, and racked up a ton of frequent flier miles getting called up an sent down all year long. Couture played 25 games with San Jose scoring 5 goals and 9 points, then adding 4 goals in 15 playoff games. Honourable mention goes to Marc-Edouard Vlasic who was a 2nd round pick in 2005 and has over 300 games under his garter belt already.
The Bad: Lukas Kaspar (22nd overall, 2004) Ok, this is a major reach by me here, as we’re only supposed to go back 5 years. The problem is, San Jose hasn’t made a lot of bad picks within the first 3 rounds, and it’s kind of hard to say a 5th rounder is a bad pick. San Jose, despite not having high picks or even any first round picks in recent years has done a real nice job of drafting. Kaspar by the way is playing in Finland now, and only suited up for 16 games with San Jose.
The Unkown: Tyson Sexsmith (91st overall, 2007) Sexsmith rewrote the WHL record book while minding the twine for the Vancouver Giants, but had a rocky first pro season. He played only 13 games for the Sharks farm club in Worcester, posting a 3.94 gaa. He also played twice in the ECHL. Many people have often wondered if Sexsmith was a benefactor of a good team in front of him when he was a Giant. Time will tell if that speculation is true.
Coming Down the Pipe: Nick Petrecki (above) is a big bodied physical defenceman who will compete for a spot next year in San Jose. Jason Demers, a 7th round pick in 2008 showed he’s ready for a full season with a 51 game 21 point campaign this year in San Jose. Logan Couture shouldn’t have to make many, if any, trips to Worcester next season.
Draft Trends: San Jose might be considered the United Nations of the NHL as they seem to draft from every country. From Canada to Kazakhstan and almost everywhere in between. The one country they don’t visit often at the draft table…Russia. The last Russian the Sharks drafted was Andrei Zyuzin in 1996.
2010 Prediction 28th Overall:
Dean Millard: Calvin Pickard (Seattle, WHL) - Pickard didn’t have the kind of U18 World Championship he would have liked, but hardly anyone on team Canada played to their expectations. The younger brother of Nashville prospect Chet, some think Calvin will end up being a better pipeman. Positioning is his biggest strength, and he faced a lot of rubber this year on a weak Seattle team. The Sharks make history and take a goalie in the first round. (Photo below: Pekka Mononen IIHF Images)
Guy Flaming: Tyler Toffoli (Ottawa, OHL) - A huge leap forward in offensive production, Toffoli's strong year started at the Ivan Hlinka tournament for Canada last August. The Sharks have looked at the 67's in fairly recent years nabbing both Logan Couture and Jamie McGinn from Ottawa.