Sharks 2009 draft review

By Cory Wilkins

Owning only four selections going into the 2009 draft, and none in the first round, talk surrounding the San Jose Sharks was focused on the underachieving lineup rather than restocking the club’s prospect cupboard.

Trade winds circled, but it remained a quiet weekend for the Sharks, save for a minor deal where the Sharks added the 189th pick for a sixth rounder in next year’s draft. Their first selection came in the second round at 43rd overall.

William Wrenn, D – USDP USA U-18
43rd Overall 2nd Round
6’1 190 lbs
March 16, 1991 Anchorage, Alaska

The Sharks first pick did not come until midway through the second round, but the club made the most of it, drafting William Wrenn, a defenseman from the USDP. Ranked 54th among NA skaters by Central Scouting, Wrenn has size and plays a smart, defensive style. Wrenn possesses all the attributes of a prototypical stay-at-home defenseman – a strong skater with good mobility, providing a physical presence, and reliability. As captain of the USA U-18 team, Wrenn played in 51 games, notching three goals and 11 assists, while posting 83 penalty minutes. Wrenn will be attending the University of Denver this fall.

Taylor Doherty, D – OHL Kingston

57th Overall 2nd Round
6’7 218 lbs
March 2, 1991 Cambridge, Ontario

The Sharks stayed on defense with their next pick, selecting hulking blueliner Taylor Doherty. The 6’7 Doherty has spent the past two seasons with the Kingston Frontenacs (OHL), providing an intimidating presence on the backend. Doherty was ranked 58th among NA skaters by Central Scouting, but still needs to add bulk to his staggering frame. Not known for his offense, Doherty’s greatest assets are his positioning and his ability to play the body. Doherty scored two goals and 18 assists through 68 games with Kingston last season, alongside 140 penalty minutes.

“I try to play a little bit like Dion Phaneuf,” Doherty said at the draft, when asked who he compares his game to. “He’s been one of my favorite players for a while. I like his physical style. I think he gets it done at both ends of the ice.

“I’m really excited to join the Sharks organization. It’s a big honor.”

Philip Varone, C – OHL London

147th Overall 5th Round
5’10 186 lbs
December 4, 1990 Vaughan, Ontario

Spending the past two seasons with the London Knights (OHL), Varone has likely posted inflated stats on a top junior team. In 58 games last season, the small center scored 19 goals and 33 assists, alongside 32 penalty minutes. Ranked 172nd among NA skaters by CS, Varone is an energy-type forward, so his ceiling of potential at the NHL level could be full-time duty as a third or fourth liner. The 18-year-old will return to the Knights for the 2009-10 campaign.

Marek Viedensky, C – WHL Prince George

189th Overall 7th Round
6’4 185 lbs
August 18, 1990 Handlova, Slovakia

The hulking Slovakian winger joined the Prince George Cougars (WHL) last season, having a strong rookie campaign. Through 59 games, Viedensky potted 16 goals and 24 assists, tying for third in team scoring. At the World Junior Championship, Viedesnky was a part of Team Slovakia, scoring four assists over the course of the tournament. Not ranked among the Top 200 NA skaters by CS, Viedensky could serve as a project player for the Sharks, notably considering the team’s depth. The scoring winger will return to Prince George for 2009-10. It’s worth noting that the Sharks traded a pick in next year’s draft in order to select Viedensky, so he was someone the Sharks clearly wanted.

Dominik Bielke, D – DEL Berlin

207th Overall 7th Round
6’3 190 lbs
October 23, 1990 Berlin, Germany

With the club’s last pick in the draft, the Sharks added big blueliner Dominik Bielke of Berlin (DEL). Bielke has size and moderate offensive ability, the quality of talent typically remaining at this point in the draft. Nevertheless, the Sharks have added a sizable defenseman with strong skating and someone who can make a good first pass. In seven games with Berlin last season, Bielke tallied one assist. He spent most of the season with the Berlin Junior Polar Bears, scoring 14 goals and 25 assists through 47 games. Bielke was ranked 134th by Central Scouting among European skaters.