NHL Draft 2019: Here's how Sharks' recent picks have been doing so far


The San Jose Sharks have found a wealth of success with some of their draft picks over the last couple of years, whether it's a first-round selection like Tomas Hertl or Timo Meier, or a sixth-round choice like Kevin Labanc -- or even a seventh-rounder like captain Joe Pavelski.

San Jose doesn't have a first-round selection in this year's NHL draft up in Vancouver. So in preparation for the rest of the weekend and the upcoming development camp, here's how San Jose's prospects from the last two drafts are doing:

Ryan Merkley, defenseman -- first round, 21st overall pick, 2018
The Sharks turned some heads when they used their first-round pick in 2018 to select Merkley. While the Oakville, Ontario native was considered a dynamic two-way defenseman, he also had a couple of behavioral mishaps that made him a bit of a risky pick-up. But San Jose was confident in the homework it did on Merkley and took him with the 21st overall pick.

Merkley, 18, started the 2018-19 season with the Guelph Storm before being traded to the Peterborough Petes, registering 71 points (14 goals, 57 assists) and a plus-4 rating between the two teams. 

He was called up to make his AHL debut with the Barracuda this past April, playing in two regular-season contests for San Jose. He tallied no points and a minus-1 rating. 

Zachary Emond, goalie -- sixth round, 176th overall pick, 2018
It's no wonder the Sharks signed Emond to an entry-level contract this past spring. The 18-year-old netminder finished his 2018-19 campaign for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies with a 24-0-1 record, leading the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with a 1.73 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and seven shutouts.

With that shining résumé, Emond helped lead the Huskies to a QMJHL championship and Memorial Cup championship.

"Zach's overall development and growth improved immensely this season, recording seven shutouts and an unprecedented 24-0-1 record," Sharks general manager Doug Wilson said in a press release after the team signed Emond. "We're excited to watch him take over the helm in the crease next year and build on his impressive performance from the previous campaign."  

Mario Ferraro, defenseman -- second round, 49th overall pick, 2017
Ferraro was coming off his final season with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL when the Sharks drafted him in 2017. He since has put together two impressive campaigns playing at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, serving as an alternate captain during the 2018-19 season.

The 20-year-old blueliner registered 37 points (six goals, 31 assists) and 43 penalty minutes over two seasons playing at the NCAA level.

Alexander Chmelevski, center -- sixth round, 185th overall pick, 2017
Chmelevski is one player Sharks fans are no doubt excited to see participate in this summer's prospect scrimmage after the impressive season he just had at the junior level.

The Huntington Beach native is coming off a beastly campaign, tallying 75 points in 56 regular season games for the Ottawa 67s and 31 points in 18 playoff contests. He also tallied seven points for Team USA in this past year's World Juniors competition. 

Chmelevski had a brief stint with the Barracuda during their 2017-18 season, tallying four points (three goals, one assist) in six regular-season matchups and two points (one goal, one assist) through four AHL playoff games.

[RELATED: Sharks to play Golden Knights in first two games next season]

Ivan Chekhovich, left wing -- seventh round, 212th overall pick, 2017
When the Sharks signed Chekhovich to an entry-level contract in April 2018, Wilson was quick to point out how quickly the then-19-year-old adjusted to playing hockey at the pro level.

"He has proven in his short stint of professional hockey that he can keep up with the pace and physicality," Wilson said in a team press release. "His offensive instincts and creativity make him a dangerous player in the opposing team's end and we look forward to seeing him develop with our organization."

The Russian winger continues to build on his game season after season and is coming off a staggering 105-point campaign with Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL. He added to that with four points (one goal, three assists) in five regular-season games and three points (one goal, three assists) in four playoff games with the Barracuda this past season.

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