San Jose Sharks are looking for luck
The NHL Draft Lottery comes on Wednesday, and that’s what’s at stake for the Sharks: the chance to sign someone who can offer immediate help, or have to wait another year or two for that help.
The Sharks, according to tankathon.com, have a combined first- or second-place draft chance of about 13.6%, and about an 86.4% chance of ending up with the seventh, eighth or ninth overall pick. The Sharks went 3-10-3 in the final month of the season to finish with the seventh worst record in the NHL at 21-28-7.
The Sharks have had just three top 10 draft picks in the past 16 years. They drafted Devin Setoguchi eighth overall in 2005, Logan Couture ninth overall in 2007 and Timo Meier ninth in 2015. Setoguchi and Couture both remained in junior hockey for two more seasons after being drafted, and Meier went one year. more before turning pro.
The last Sharks draft player who made a significant impact in the NHL immediately after his draft was Patrick Marleau, who finished second overall at the age of 17 in 1997.
“If you don’t get first, second, or third overall, if you don’t get Nathan MacKinnons, Cale Makars, (Sidney) Crosby or (Connor) McDavid’s,” Doug Wilson Jr., Sharks scouts manager said last month, “If you don’t get these players, you have to wait three or four years to see your first round pick being a real NHL player. ”
There will be two draws on Wednesday in Secaucus, NJ – one to determine which team selects first overall, and the second to determine who gets second pick. The 14 teams not selected will be awarded their selection in the 3-16 draft in reverse order of regular season points. The Seattle Kraken expansion will not draft lower than the fifth.
If the Sharks don’t get the first or second overall pick, they’ll pick the seventh, eighth or ninth. Although the Sharks ended up with the seventh-worst record in the league, they could fall back if a spot or two if another non-playoff team with a better record wins one of the draws.
In the 2020 deep draft, four players were able to play in NHL games this season: the top three picks with Alexis Lafrenière (Rangers), Quinton Byfield (Kings) and Tim Stützle (Senators), and the sixth overall pick. Jamie Drysdale (ducks).
Wilson Jr. did not want to know how many draft-eligible players would be ready to carve out a place in the NHL in the fall. While there doesn’t appear to be any generational type talent available in the 2021 class like a McDavid or a Crosby, there are several players who could have exceptional careers.
At 6-5, 214 pounds with a massive hockey IQ, University of Michigan defenseman Owen Power is considered the best player available. Just behind him are defenseman Simon Edvinsson and forward William Eklund, both Swedish, WHL forward Dylan Guenther and Michigan center Matty Beniers.
There’s no guarantee that the draft of any of these players – on its own – would make the Sharks a playoff team next season. Still, earning the right to pick first or second overall in the July draft would be a huge boost for a Sharks team that has just started stocking their organizational closets with high-end players.
Already, the players the Sharks drafted last year are considered some of their best prospects, including Michigan center Thomas Bordeleau, WHL forwards Ozzy Wiesblatt and Tristen Robins, and USHL forward Danil Gushchin. .
“Historically, guys who get into the top five or the top 10, they can help you a lot sooner than guys who go lower,” Wilson said. “For that fact alone, we’re thrilled because whoever we pick from the top five or top 10, their schedule will be sped up. Probably on the same timeline, if not faster, than the one where Thomas Bordeleau, Ozzy Wiesblatt and Tristen Robins are already.
“So it helps us with our age group to have these high end players at the same time very soon here.”
PROJECT LOTTERY ODDS
TEAM PERCENTAGE OF WINNING NO. 1 CHOICE
Buffalo Sabers 16.6
Anaheim Ducks 12.1
Seattle Kraken 10.3
New Jersey Devils 10.3
Columbus 8.5 Blue Jackets
Detroit Red Wings 7.6
Sharks of San José 6.7
Kings of Los Angeles 5.8
Vancouver Canucks 5.4
Ottawa Senators 4.5
Arizona Coyotes 3.1
Chicago Blackhawks 2.7
Calgary Flames 2.2
Philadelphia Flyers 1.8
Dallas Stars 1.4
New York Rangers 1.0
REMARK: The Coyotes will lose their first-round pick in sanctions announced by the NHL in August of last year for violating the league’s combine testing policy during the 2019-20 season. If Arizona wins one of the lottery draws, a new draw will be made.