Sharks 2008-09 NCAA prospects update

By Billy Ramirez

Forwards


Nick Bonino

6’1, 190 lbs
Sophomore, Boston University
Selected in round 6, #173 overall, 2007

A solid second-line center, Bonino is starting to make a name for himself in large part to his penchant for passing the puck.  After 25 games, Bonino is tied for third on his team in assists.  He also ranks fifth in goals with seven tallies – two of which came on the power play.  Overall, he is the second highest-scoring sophomore on the Terriers roster.

His lack of speed has been his downfall, but he is developing a great passing vision that could soon draw comparison to the likes of former Shark Vincent Damphousse.  Bonino is aware that he lacks speed and strength, but he is actively working on both aspects. 

Carter Lee

6’2, 200 lbs
Senior, Lake Superior University
Selected in round 9, #276 overall, in 2003

Lee has seen much more bench than ice and may better be known simply as, "healthy scratch."  Playing in only eight games, Lee has never posted more than three points in his college career and is near the bottom of his team’s scoring list with two goals and one assist.  It will take an incredible turnaround by Lee to make it into a Sharks jersey or any other NHL sweater.

Tony Lucia
6’0, 190 lbs
Junior, Minnesota
Selected in round 6, #193 overall, 2005

In 23 games, Lucia has racked up four goals and ten assists but hasn’t done much to be a difference-maker on his Golden Gophers squad.  He still lacks the physical tools to make an impact in professional leagues with one more year to go at Minnesota.

If Lucia hopes to be a productive pro, he needs to improve his skating and balance.

John McCarthy
6’1, 198 lbs
Sophomore, Boston University
Selected in round 6, #173 overall, 2007

Bonino’s teammate McCarthy ranks sixth in assists and is developing into more of a passer than a scorer.  He has not notched a special teams point nor has he been whistled for any penalties but he is a good puck-possession skater and is willing to block shots.  Appearing in all 26 of the Terriers’ games, he is also showing that he is dependable and can stay healthy,

While not a stellar player on paper, McCarthy can develop into the type of role player who is very useful on penalty kills.
 
Tommy Wingels
6’0, 193 lbs
Sophomore, University of Miami (Ohio)
Selected in round 6, #177 overall, 2008

The hard-nosed center is ranked sixth on his team in scoring with seven goals and nine assists in 28 contests.  Wingels does not shy away from action and leads his RedHawks with 52 penalty minutes and is also tied for first in game-winning goals (2) and shorthanded goals (1).

Wingels has the potential to develop into a powerful two-way force and Sharks fans will certainly watch his development with interest.

Defensemen

Justin Braun
6’1, 198 lbs
Junior, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Selected in round 7, #201 overall, 2007

The highest-scoring defenseman on his team, Braun is developing into a force on the Minutemen blueline and ranks sixth overall in team scoring.  In 26 games, he has notched 6 goals and 9 assists for the Minutemen. 

Braun is a solid-skating defenseman with great vision but lacks size and strength for his position. He doesn’t yet quite have the strength to consistently push puck carriers off the puck, but certainly he has the skills and fundamentals to build on. 

Christian Jensen

6’3, 210 lbs
Junior, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Selected in round 9, #289 overall, 2004

Sidelined by a a digestive illness, Jensen has a very long road ahead of him that may never lead to San Jose.  Though big and strong, the defenseman has logged only five games and one assist for the Engineers this season.

As a ninth-round pick almost five years ago, expectations weren’t high for Jensen but he hasn’t done much to make naysayers think twice.

Nick Petrecki
6’3, 220 lbs
Sophomore, Boston College
Selected in round 1, #28 overall, 2007

Not noted for scoring, Petrecki relies on physical play that’s very effective unless he finds himself in the penalty box.  The highly-touted defenseman and his aggressive style draw comparison to Kyle McLaren and Doug Murray, but he must be careful to not pigeonhole himself into a player who takes bad penalties.

In 22 contests, he has racked up five assists and leads the Eagles in penalty minutes.

Goalies

Alex Stalock
6’0, 190 lbs
Junior, University of Minnesota-Duluth
Selected in round 4, #112 overall, 2005

The Sharks’ lone NCAA goaltending prospect, Stalock is enjoying his first winning season with the Bulldogs and has posted a 12-7-6 record, .921 save percentage, 2.24 GAA, and two shutouts.  Since his arrival in Duluth, Stalock has handled the majority of the workload and is starting to find his game and, along with that, is starting to win consistently.  This season, he has played in 27 of 28 games for the Bulldogs.

Ultimately, Stalock faces a long road to the San Jose crease that is paved with goaltenders who are posting better numbers for their respective teams.  Nonetheless, his acrobatic style and outstanding puckhandling could set him apart from the rest.  He’s also the second-oldest goaltending prospect and does have an advantage on experience, but San Jose is notorious for being patient with goaltenders and Stalock has plenty of time to perfect his game.