What will Sharks do with first-round pick?


First-round picks have been something of a rarity lately for the San Jose Sharks. In three of the past four years, San Jose has not had a choice in the first round, and the one it didCharlie Coyle in 2010was sent packing.

This year in Pittsburgh, San Jose is slotted to choose 17th overall in the first round. Should it use that pick, it would be the highest the Sharks have chosen in an entry draft since 2006, when Ty Wishart was selected 16th overall. Wishart was eventually traded to the Lightning in the Dan Boyle deal (and is now property of the New York Islanders). Coyle, of course, was included in the package San Jose sent to the Minnesota Wild in order to acquire Brent Burns (along with its 2011 first round pick).

The NHL Draft takes place at Pittsburghs Consol Energy Center on June 22-23.

Having said all that, something caught my eye in this weeks Hockey News. The first of what I expect to be many mocks drafts from countless national publications and websites was published on Page 26, and the player that was listed at 17 was a bit of a surprisegoaltender Malcolm Subban.

If the surname sounds familiar, it should. Subban is the younger brother of the mercurial yet talented Canadiens defenseman PK Subban. Hes the top ranked goalie in the draft, according to NHL Central Scouting, and The Hockey News calls him the early favorite to man Canadas net at the 2013 World Junior Championships.

Subban would be a bit of an odd choice, though. While the Sharks minor league system in thin, goaltending is actually a position of strength within the organization. Alex Stalock has recovered from a serious nerve injury more than a year ago; Thomas Greiss had a respectable season as the backup to Antti Niemi; and Tyson Sexsmith (an AHL All-Star in 2012) and Harri Sateri are also still in the system.

General manager Doug Wilsons attitude, though, has always been to take the best player availableregardless of position. Wilson recently told NHL.com that the Sharks will stick to their philosophy of taking the best player available.

Could that end up being Subban? Maybe.

When the Sharks have held onto their first round pick in the Wilson era, the results have been outstanding. Current established NHL players drafted by the Sharks in the first round under the current regime include Milan Michalek (sixth overall in 2003); Steve Bernier (16th overall in 2003); Devin Setoguchi (eighth overall in 2005) and Logan Couture (ninth overall in 2007).

Coyle, meanwhile, is one of Minnesotas top prospects.

Of course, that the Sharks will keep their first pick is still a long way from certain. The club clearly wants to make some changespossibly significantheading into the 2012-13 campaign, after a disappointing season ended with a meek five-game ouster in the first round to St. Louis.

It was at last years draft in Minnesota that Wilson did some wheeling and dealing with the Wild in getting Burns and Marty Havlat.

Could something like that happen again in Pittsburgh, or will the Sharks hold on toor perhaps even trade upin this years draft?

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