The Sharks currently have eight prospects playing in NCAA hockey including 2009 second round pick William Wrenn from University of Denver. The Sharks have five forwards and three defensemen playing collegiate hockey.
Tommy Wingels, C, 21
Miami University (Ohio)
Wingels was drafted in the sixth round of the 2008 Entry Draft and looks to be another productive late-round pick for the Sharks. Wingels is in his junior season with the RedHawks and is currently leading the team with 28 points. Through 27 games this season he is just one point away from a career high in points. Wingels also leads the team with 13 goals. Wingels is a very hard-working player who has seemed to find more of a goal scorer’s touch. The 6’0 and 185-pound center is on pace to exceed his career high in goals. His development with Miami has put him in a spot where he could be ready for AHL duty within the next year, although he does have another season of eligibility.
Justin Daniels, C, 20
Daniels was the Sharks first pick in the 2008 draft, but not until the third round. In his freshman season at Northeastern, he has played in 21 games while scoring five goals and adding just four assists. Justin’s brother Drew is also a forward at the Northeastern and they can usually be found playing on the same line together. Daniels is a 6’2 and 175-pound center who might need to grow into his body a little more and become more physical before any potential NHL time. He will also need two to three years of more development at Northeastern before any AHL time or an opportunity at training camp.
Drew Daniels, RW, 20
The twin brother of fellow Sharks prospect Justin was drafted in 2008 in the seventh round. Daniels currently has just two goals and one assist in 21 games played in his freshman season. Both Justin and Drew assisted on each other’s first NCAA points in November. Drew is the same size as Justin at 6’2 and 175 pounds, but Drew seems to have the lesser skill set. He will also have to continue to develop at Northeastern before any chance of an invite to training camp with the Sharks.
Tony Lucia, LW, 22
University of Minnesota
Lucia is having a career year in his senior season with the Golden Gophers. He has exceeded his career high in points in just 27 games this season. Lucia has seven goals and 13 assists and has shown his leadership skills all year as team captain. Lucia plays on the ice at all times during the game. He’s on the power play as well as the penalty kill where he has even scored a couple of shorthanded goals. Lucia has also been constantly battling to be the team leader in points where he is currently second. He was taken in the sixth round of the 2005 draft. Lucia is a little on the small side at six feet and only 175 pounds. He will be invited to training camp next year and will likely compete in the AHL next year.
Patrick White, C, 21
University of Minnesota
White was acquired from Vancouver in an offseason trade that sent Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich to the Canucks in exchange for White and Daniel Rahimi. White has been putting up the same average numbers that he has been since being drafted in the first round in 2007. White has been considered a disappointment thus far, but he is still only in his junior year. The 6’0 and 186-pound center still has more time to develop. White currently has seven goals and six assists for 13 points. White seems to have the skill set to be a good hockey player but it is all about putting it together consistently. He has the quickness and shot to play in the NHL but the mentality needs to change.
William Wrenn, D, 18
University of Denver
Wrenn is currently in his freshman season at the University of Denver after playing three years with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. He was drafted in the second round in 2008 by the Sharks. Wrenn is considered to be a very steady stay-at-home defenseman who might be able to grow into some offensive capabilities. In 20 games, he has not yet registered a goal but does have six assists. He also has 34 penalty minutes and leads the team in that category. Wrenn is 6’1 and 190 pounds.
Justin Braun, D, 22
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Braun is one of the more improved prospects in the Sharks system this year. He was named one of the team captains at the beginning of his senior season. He also has almost matched his career high in points. Braun currently has 22 points and his 19 assists have already exceeded his career high of 13. Braun is progressing to be a good two-way defenseman who rarely gets rattled during the game. The 6’1 and 180-pounder was drafted by the Sharks in the seventh round in 2007. The Sharks often find a steal in the seventh rounds and might have found another one in Braun.
Christian Jensen, D, 24
Jensen was drafted by the Sharks in the ninth round in 2004. Jensen is currently playing in his senior season at RPI. He is occasionally a healthy scratch this year and has only played in 13 games thus far. Jensen has registered just one point, a goal, and two penalty minutes. Jensen missed all but six games in his junior season due to an injury. Since Jensen does not get very much playing time at RPI, the Sharks will have to make a decision on whether or not to give him a contract to see how he can perform in the minor league system.