Sharks Top 20 prospects, Spring 2010

By Nick Owen

Top 20 at a glance

1. Logan Couture, C – 7.5C
2. Nick Petrecki, D – 7.0B
3. Thomas Greiss, G – 7.5C
4. Jason Demers, D  – 7.0B
5. Alex Stalock, G – 7.5C
6. Steven Zalewski, C – 7.0C
7. Harri Sateri, G – 7.5D
8. Tyson Sexsmith, G – 6.5C
9. Derek Joslin, D – 6.5C
10. Benn Ferriero, RW – 7.0D
11. William Wrenn, D – 6.5C
12. Tommy Wingels, C – 6.5C
13. Samuel Groulx, D – 6.5C
14. Taylor Doherty, D – 7.0D
15. Thomas Heemskerk, G – 6.5C
16. Frazer McLaren, LW – 6.0B
17. Mike Moore, D – 6.0C
18. Justin Daniels, C – 6.5D
19. Brandon Mashinter, LW – 6.5D
20. Patrik Zackrisson, LW – 6.5D

1.  Logan Couture, C – 7.5C
6’1 195lbs
Acquired: 1st Round, 9th overall, 2007

Couture leads all AHL rookies in points per game. Couture has 20 goals and 31 assists in just 38 games for the Worcester Sharks. The 20-year-old center also has spent 12 games in San Jose, tallying one goal and one assist. Couture has improved his all-around game since he was drafted in 2007 from the Ottawa 67’s. Couture is a hard worker who has great vision. He is also constantly in the right spots on the ice, which he needs to do since he’s not the fastest player. Couture has spent some time injured in the last couple of weeks because of a hurt shoulder, but has recently returned and continued scoring.

Next season, Couture will likely be fighting for a third line center spot in San Jose, but his ultimate potential seems to be a good two-way second line center.

2. Nick Petrecki, D – 7.0B
6’4 220lbs
Acquired: 1st round, 28th overall, 2007

The hulking defenseman has struggled in his rookie season to adjust to the AHL from college. Petrecki must work on his foot speed and defensive positioning to become a factor in either the AHL or eventually the NHL. Petrecki is a physical and intimidating defenseman who will not shy away from contact or back down from protecting teammates. In 57 games, he has two goals and 10 assists. The 20-year-old will likely never make an impact offensively, but ultimately he is likely to be a shut-down defenseman.

Petrecki will continue to work on his overall game in the AHL next year unless he is a big surprise in training camp.

3. Thomas Greiss, G – 7.5C
6’1 190lbs
Acquired: 3rd Round, 94th overall, 2004

Greiss is the only Sharks prospect who participated in the 2010 Winter Olympics with Team Germany. Although he did not register a win or advance past the qualifying round of the tournament, Greiss did look good at times against some very tough competition. Greiss has also played very well as the back-up for the San Jose Sharks going 6-4 with a .920 save percentage and 2.47 goals against average. San Jose does not miss a beat when he replaces Evgeni Nabokov in net. The 24-year-old shows excellent confidence and uses his big frame well. At times Greiss will get over anxious and overplay a lot of pucks. Depending on whether Nabokov returns to San Jose, Greiss will likely return as San Jose’s backup or possibly their starter.

4. Jason Demers, D – 7.0B
6’1 195lbs
Acquired: 7th Round, 186th overall, 2008

Demers is San Jose’s biggest surprise in terms of their prospects this year. He plays a similar defensive style to Dan Boyle. Demers has split time in San Jose and Worcester this season and has performed very well at both levels. In 44 games with San Jose, Demers has four goals and 16 assists. He has also been awarded power-play time with the Sharks second unit. The 21-year-old can move the puck up and down the ice very well, and if he continues to learn from Boyle he will be a very good offensive defenseman in the NHL. Demers should continue to play on the Sharks as a sixth or seventh defenseman depending on injuries for the remainder of the year.

5. Alex Stalock, G – 7.5C
6’2 215lbs
Acquired: 4th Round, 112th overall, 2005

Stalock has started out playing very well in his rookie season. He was an AHL all-star for the first time. Stalock leads the AHL in wins with 33. He also has a 2.61 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. The 22-year-old has helped propel the Worcester Sharks into second place in the Atlantic Division. The Minnesota-Duluth alum started this season splitting starts with fellow prospect Tyson Sexsmith, but ultimately won the starting job.

Stalock will likely need more seasoning in the AHL, but he could always surprise with a goalie opening in San Jose next season.

6. Steven Zalewski, C – 7.0C
5’11 190lbs
Acquired: 5th round, 153rd overall, 2004

Zalewski has exceeded expectations this year. He is currently playing on Worcester’s first line and has already put up career highs in goals, assists, and points. Zalewski has 20 goals and 33 assists for 53 points. The 23-year-old forward also earned himself a chance to play three games in San Jose this season, but did not register a point.

Zalewski might get another chance in San Jose this season but will likely stay in Worcester. He will have a chance to crack the lineup at the beginning of training camp.

7. Harri Sateri, G – 7.5D
6’1 190
Acquired: 4th round, 106th overall, 2008

Sateri is the third of five goalie prospects in the Sharks top 8. He is probably the most unknown and might have the biggest potential as well. Sateri is back with Finland‘s Tappara Tampere, posting a .914 save percentage and 2.74 GAA. The Sharks have three other goalies already in North America; two of them are only a year older. Sateri will have time in Finland to work on his game.

Sateri will likely be in Finland for another season, but may end up in Worcester as well. 

8. Tyson Sexsmith, G – 6.5C
5’11 210lbs
Acquired: 3rd round, 91st overall, 2007

Sexsmith has not had the rookie pro season that many were expecting out of him. He started the season in Worcester splitting starts with Alex Stalock, but did not perform very well and was demoted to the ECHL. Since being in the ECHL, Sexsmith played and won two games with a .932 save percentage but then was injured. In the AHL, Sexsmith played in 13 games and posted a .860 save percentage before being demoted. The 20-year-old has time to bounce back.

9. Derek Joslin, D – 6.5C
6’1 205lbs
Acquired: 5th Round, 149th Overall, 2005

Joslin has split time in San Jose and Worcester this year. In 24 games with San Jose, Joslin had three assists and 12 penalty minutes. In Worcester, he has played 36 games with one goal and 16 assists. Joslin could have possibly had more time in San Jose this season if it weren’t for the surprise of Jason Demers. The 22-year-old Joslin plays a two-way defensive game. He is also very physical when he needs to be without taking himself out of position.

Joslin will likely play in Worcester for the remainder of the season, barring any injuries in San Jose. He will get another chance to crack the roster at training camp next season.

10. Benn Ferriero, RW – 7.0D
5’11 185
Acquired: Signed as a free agent, September 2009

Ferriero was signed by San Jose in the offseason after his right expired with the Phoenix Coyotes. The 22-year-old stepped right into the Sharks lineup after training camp and scored twice with three assists in 24 games. Ferriero was demoted to Worcester and is currently playing on their first line with Couture and Zalewski. In Worcester, Ferriero has 19 goals and 25 assists in just 39 games. Ferriero is a high-energy player who has a non-stop motor. He is a little on the smaller side but is still able to get to the net.

Ferriero will likely stay in Worcester this season and have a chance to make the San Jose lineup next season.

11. William Wrenn, D – 6.5C
6’1 205
Acquired: 2nd Round, 43rd Overall, 2009

Wrenn is a defensive defenseman currently playing in his freshman season at the University of Denver. In 22 games, Wrenn has seven assists and is a +6 on the season with 36 penalty minutes. Coming into the 2009 draft he was considered one of the steadiest stay-at-home defensemen in the draft. In the next three years at Denver, Wrenn should take on more leadership, which he is known for. 

He will likely spend two to three more seasons at DU. 

12. Tommy Wingels, C – 6.5C
6’ 184lbs
Acquired: 6th Round, 177th Overall, 2008

At Miami University in Ohio, Wingels is having a career year in his junior season. In 36 games, Wingels has scored 16 goals and added 20 assists. The 21-year-old is a very hard worker and plays a lot on the penalty kill as well as power play time occasionally. The big-game experience of the NCAA championship last year will help him in his career in both college and the NHL.

Wingels’ development with Miami has made him ready for AHL duty, but he has another year of college eligibility.

13. Samuel Groulx, D – 6.5C
6’1 183lbs
Acquired: 4th Round, 92nd Overall, 2008

Groulx is a shut-down defenseman who has found a bit of offensive upside this season. The 19-year-old has 14 goals in 61 games between the Quebec Remparts and Victoriaville Tigres. His 39 points have eclipsed the 21 points he scored in just 61 games last season. Before this season, Groulx was known for his smart play and shut-down defense. Fourteen goals prove that he has been working on his offensive game in his fourth season in the QMJHL. Groulx plays a similar game to Marc-Eduord Vlasic which is a quiet and steady approach.

Groulx needs to be signed by June 1 and should his professional career with the Worcester Sharks.

14. Taylor Doherty, D – 7.0D
6’8 230lbs
Acquired: 2nd Round, 57th Overall, 2009

Doherty has been having a very solid season this year with the Kingston Frontenacs. The 19-year-old defenseman has doubled his point totals from the past two seasons. Doherty has 15 goals and 25 assists for 40 points and 103 penalty minutes. Although he might have his off nights or inconsistencies, he is developing very well. Before this season, Doherty was not known for much offensive ability but more for his smooth skating and size. Doherty has a ton of untapped potential that he will grow into as he continues to play in the OHL

15. Thomas Heemskerk, G – 6.5C
6’0 182
Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Heemskerk was signed in the last offseason and has really been a surprise for the Everett Silvertips. Last year he was 9-15-2 with a 3.32 goals against average. He has already improved greatly on all of his stats. This season he is 22-10-4 with a 2.37 goals against average and .926 save percentage. Those stats put Heemskerk third in the WHL in GAA and first in save percentage. The 19-year-old goaltender was a great offseason signing for the Sharks along the same lines of Benn Ferriero.

With a very deep pipeline the Sharks can be very patient with Heemskerk. If all of these goaltenders work out, San Jose can trade from a position of strength.

16. Frazer McLaren, LW – 6.0B
6’4 235
Acquired: 7th round, 203rd overall, 2007

McLaren continues to do his job as an enforcer extremely well. He plays hard and hits and will drop the gloves with anyone in the NHL or AHL. And he will go to the tough spots right in front of the net. Although he doesn’t have the best hands, he does what he can offensively. McLaren has split time in San Jose and Worcester this year. While in San Jose he stepped in well for former Sharks enforcer Jody Shelley. In 23 games with San Jose, he recorded six points and 54 penalty minutes. In Worcester this season, McLaren has amassed 105 penalty minutes while chipping in three goals and eight assists in 37 games.

McLaren will likely compete for a spot on the San Jose fourth line at the beginning of next season.

17. Mike Moore, D – 6.0C
6’1 200
Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Moore has played in 45 games this season with Worcester and has one goal and 14 assists. Moore had a chance to make the San Jose lineup in training camp but was in the last set of cuts in favor of Jason Demers. Moore does not have the same offensive upside that many other defensemen in the Sharks system have, but his value was demonstrated by recently getting a two-year extension. The 25-year-old is very solid defensively and will stick up for his teammates all of the time.

18. Justin Daniels, C – 6.5D
6’2 175lbs
Acquired: 3rd round, 62nd overall, 2008

Daniels is in his freshman season at the Northeastern University with his brother and fellow Sharks prospect Drew Daniels. Justin Daniels has played in 30 games this season and scored seven goals while adding seven assists. The 20-year-old has a big frame but still needs to put on a little more weight.

19. Brandon Mashinter, LW – 6.5 D
6’4 225
Acquired: Signed as a free agent

Mashinter is a power forward for the Worcester Sharks playing in his rookie season. In 60 games, he has 16 goals and 14 assists and 104 penalty minutes playing on the second line for Worcester. Mashinter uses his big body very well and he will not hesitate to drop his gloves either. Mashinter is probably the only power forward in the system, which gives him a leg up. The 21-year-old has the type of big body that the San Jose front office seems to really like.
Mashinter will compete for a spot in the Sharks lineup soon.

20. Patrik Zackrisson, LW – 6.5D
5’11 187
Acquired: 6th round, 165th overall, 2007

Zackrisson is making a name for himself in the Swedish Elite League this season. He has played very well for Linkoping this season. In only 45 games, Zackrisson has scored 16 goals and 16 assists. He is currently only two points away from his career high. Zackrisson plays in all situations and has an incredibly quick release. He is also a very good passer because of good vision. The 22-year-old could be a very solid NHL player if he continues to develop in the next couple of years.

Zackrisson is likely to come over from Europe in the next couple of seasons. His ultimate potential is a second or third liner.

Missing the cut

Marek Viedensky, C – 6.5D
6’3 193
Acquired: 7th round, 189th overall, 2009

At 6’3 and 193 pounds, Viedensky is a hard-working player who plays a strong defensive game and kills a ton of penalties. The 19-year-old started the season playing for the Prince George Cougars and was traded to the Saskatoon Blades. In a total of 55 games, he has scored 14 goals and added 37 assists. He has also totaled 62 penalty minutes. Viedensky is two-way player.

Viedensky could possibly sign in the offseason to play in the AHL or he could play another year as an over-ager in the WHL.

John McCarthy, LW – 6.0D
6’1 200lbs
Acquired: 7th Round, 202nd Overall, 2006

McCarthy performed well enough in Worcester this year to earn himself four games in San Jose. The 23-year-old is likely to play in the bottom six forwards in the NHL. He is a gritty player who kills penalties and doesn’t mind working in the corners even though he isn’t the biggest player. In 55 games this season for Worcester, McCarthy has eight goals and 20 assists and is just one point away from his career high.

McCarthy will likely get a chance during training camp to make the San Jose roster, but he could also end up playing another season in the AHL to get more work in.

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