NHL Draft

Sharks now guaranteed at least top-four pick in 2024 NHL Draft

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The Sharks have done it.

With their 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday at SAP Center, the Sharks locked up a top-four pick for the 2024 NHL Draft in June, as shared by Bay Area News Group's Curtis Pashelka.

The Sharks have 18.5-percent odds and a 25-percent chance at the No. 1 pick before they host the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, per Tankathon.

San Jose has a league-worst 18-51-8 record and 44 points with four games remaining. Only the Chicago Blackhawks (23-49-5, 51 points) can finish with a worse record. 

For Chicago to repeat as the league’s worst, it would have to lose out, while San Jose would have to win four of its last five -- both unlikely feats. Nonetheless, the Sharks have the 19th-hardest remaining schedule, and the Blackhawks only the sixth-hardest. 

The Sharks have never made the first pick in their 32-year NHL history and only have come as close as second. In 2023, they had the fourth pick and selected center Will Smith. 

While a fourth-or-better draft selection offers promise for the future, the Sharks still have a long way to go before returning to the playoffs.

The 2023-24 NHL season marks the fourth consecutive year where San Jose has fallen out of the Stanley Cup playoffs and into the May draft lottery. 

The Sharks last made the postseason during the 2018-19 season after a 46-27-9 finish with 101 points -- the end of a four-year streak of playoff appearances.

San Jose desperately needs the spark a first-overall pick brings, especially after missing out on star Boston College center Connor Bedard last year, who ended up a Blackhawk.

However, forward William Eklund has been the Sharks' prized youngster as of late. 

San Jose’s seventh-overall selection in the 2021 draft posted a hat trick against the St. Louis Blues at SAP Center on Saturday and is a building block for San Jose’s future alongside forward Collin Graf, who signed a free-agent contract with the team on Thursday.

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