Sharks Prospects

How scouts evaluate Sharks' top 10 prospects from 2023-24 season

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Editor's Note:Sheng Peng will be a regular contributor to NBC Sports California’s Sharks coverage. You can read more of his coverage on San Jose Hockey Now, listen to him on the San Jose Hockey Now Podcast, and follow him on Twitter at @Sheng_Peng.

Even after the NHL trade deadline, a perhaps surprising amount has changed with the San Jose Sharks' prospects pool.

The Sharks signed arguably the No. 1 college free agent this year, Collin Graf.

Thomas Bordeleau has changed the trajectory of his San Jose career with an impressive NHL showing since the deadline.

Filip Bystedt made an impressive AHL debut earlier this week, dropping two goals and an assist in San Diego.

Right after the deadline, these were my top-10 Sharks prospects, a list vetted by an organizational source and outside it.

I should add, that this is not necessarily what the Sharks organization thinks, but I do consider my source’s opinion, of course.

10). Kasper Halttunen
9). Cam Lund
8). Thomas Bordeleau
7). Danil Gushchin
6). Henry Thrun
5). Filip Bystedt
4). David Edstrom
3). Quentin Musty
2). Shakir Mukhamadullin
1). Will Smith

Today? I’d still have Graf just outside my top 10. Bordeleau, I’d move ahead of Thrun.

I also checked in with multiple NHL scouts from outside the Sharks organization to see what they thought about some of my burning questions about my rankings: Where do they fit Graf in? Do they like Halttunen or Lund more? Mukhamadullin or Musty for the No. 2 Sharks prospect? And what are their thoughts about prospects just outside my top 10 like Luca Cagnoni and Ethan Cardwell?

Luca Cagnoni

Scout #1: Cagnoni is a stud, he’s just really short. Closer to 5-foot-8 or 5-foot-9, but he’s really good.

Scout #2: Certainly has a chance but don’t see NHL impact. Ceiling is Calen Addison. Small, not dynamic [for the NHL]. Just not a move-the-needle guy, likely.

Scout #3: Cagnoni is really f--king good, man. But there are a lot of good players there [in the Sharks’ system]. And he’s tiny.

No. 11 [on this list] is solid [for him]. Not forgotten. But not ahead of some of these guys like Halttunen or NHL [games played] like Bordeleau.

Ethan Cardwell

Scout #1: From the last two seasons, I’d probably have Cardwell above Lund/Halttunen

He’s built really strong and he’s fast, I think he’s a versatile 3RW that can help on both special teams.

Collin Graf

Scout #3: I feel like he fits in that Nos. 11-15 group [for Sharks prospects]. Like I’d take a chance on him versus Cardwell, but they aren’t far off each other. Tougher with these college guys, because you’re dealing with an often older, somewhat unknown quantity.

Kasper Halttunen

Scout #1: Halttunen looks legit. Will play on an NHL PP and be a scorer with size.

I think that [shot] will be good enough [for the NHL] and his size will get him in the line-up.

Scout #3: Halttunen is in a really good spot in London. It’s a great organization and a better development path than being over in Europe, potentially not getting a ton of playing time.

Lots of tools, still figuring out how to use them and play a pro game using said abilities like size, skill, etc.

Cam Lund

Scout #1: Little disappointing. Lack of progression in terms of compete.

Lund the better skater, just doesn’t have that finish Halttunen does.

Scout #3: Lund is a longer-term development guy, good step this year in production and role, but gotta figure out the defensive side of the puck, otherwise he won’t earn any pro coach’s trust. He’s going to be Northeastern’s guy next year with Campbell and Hryckowian moving on.

Thomas Bordeleau

Danil Gushchin

Henry Thrun

Scout #1: Thrun would probably move a few spots down for me.

Scout #4: Bordeleau actually looks better here than in the AHL.

Definitely has improved from his first time in the NHL this year with the Sharks too.

Was going the wrong way, he’s got a chance now.

Filip Bystedt

David Edstrom

Scout #1: I’d still have Bystedt over Edstrom, based on upside. Edstrom could be closer to a 3/4C where Bystedt could be closer to a 2.5/3C.

Scout #3: Bystedt and Edstrom are very similar.

Quentin Musty

Will Smith

Shakir Mukhamadullin

Scout #1: [Mukhamadullin] is more valuable.

Proven at pro level. [Long] two-way D.

I’m still guarded on Musty. Immaturities there. Want to see him do it in pro first, big and talented kid, for sure, but still have some doubts over how he translates.

Scout #3: I’d take Musty [over Mukhamadullin]. There’s inherent value to big, mobile d-men these days that can probably play in your top-four [like Shakir], but Musty has a chance to be a legit dominant scoring winger. High skill. I’d give him the edge.

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