2010 was a heartbreaking year for the San Jose Sharks. They had a squad built for the playoffs, and after being the top team in the Western Conference for a second season in a row, they faltered in the Conference finals, failing to win a single game against the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks.
Due to their success, but ultimate failure, the Sharks would pick 28th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft – a tough pill to swallow for a team that hadn’t had a 1st round selection in the two years prior (and would trade one the next year).
While the Sharks haven’t directly reaped the rewards of their 2010 draft, it was certainly impactful for the organization, and should be considered an average showing by Doug Wilson and his scouting department, despite a lack of late round conversions.
Today, at 28th overall, Charlie Coyle has to be one of the biggest risers from the 2010 first round. Just months after making the pick, scouts were raving about Coyle’s skillset and potential. It was this potential (particularly with his NHL frame and skating ability) that saw his stock rise post-draft, and caught the eye of the Minnesota Wild. One year after being drafted, Coyle was traded with Devin Setoguchi and the Sharks’ 2011 1st Round Pick (used by Minnesota on Zack Phillips) in a deal that would bring Brent Burns to the Shark tank.
Charlie Coyle’s play with the Minnesota Wild has been rock-steady, and he is starting to live up to the billing of being a good two-way forward that uses his size and strength to his advantage. Not quite a star, but Coyle has been a very effective top-nine forward for the Wild.
The pick was solid from where the Sharks were picking, but the trade was even better. It hurt the Sharks to trade away such a high pick considering their average draft slot the past few seasons (and it’s part of the reason they are experiencing some issues as a team now) but getting back a defenseman of Burns’s calibre more than made up for it.
3rd round, 88th overall: Max Gaede, RW, Woodbury High School (Minnesota)
NHL Games Played: None
In what would be the 2nd of five eventual selections out of the United States, the Sharks went after another big, power forward type right wing, in Max Gaede. The high school star was the 104th ranked North American Skater according to the CSS Final Rankings, so the pick was a bit of a reach, but Gaede brought with him sheer power, and a bit of a scoring touch–he was very “projectable”.
Unfortunately, Gaede has not exactly panned out. During his four year collegiate career with the Minnesota State University – Mankato, he lost his confidence with the puck and became less of a scoring threat, and more of a role player for his team. At the moment, despite tremendous hustle, Gaede lacks the tools to be a professional hockey player. As it stands now, he is without a contract offer from the Sharks, and he has just finished his senior year.
5th round, 127th overall: Cody Ferriero, C, Governor’s Academy (Massachusetts)
NHL Games Played: None
With his brother Benn Ferriero in the organization and playing well, Cody Ferriero seemed like a solid pick at the time, especially for a 5th rounder. He was ranked as the 117th best North American Skater by CSS going into the draft, and despite being a little undersized for the center position, Ferriero like his brother had just enough firepower to overcome that obstacle and become a real player. With a major spot on the Northeastern University and the family pedigree, Ferriero looked poised to one day become a key cog on the Sharks, but that future just never came to fruition, as Ferriero struggled to stay healthy, and find any semblance of consistency. He last played in the ECHL for the Rapid City Rush where he packed on the points against lesser competition. Ferriero is no longer with the organization.
Just two picks after Cody Ferriero, the Sharks picked again, and made arguably their best value pick of the draft. Hamilton, a fast, blue-collar two-way forward, who was just starting to show a bit of a scoring touch in Niagara, was ranked 62nd overall by CSS. By all accounts, it was a tremendous pick.
For years, Hamilton’s potential toyed with Sharks fans, and he hovered around the top of the organization’s prospect pool. His big OHL scoring seasons and terrific two-way play led many to believe that Hamilton had top-nine potential, or at the very least could step into a third line center role in the very near future. While Hamilton had his moments in Worcester, often leading the team in scoring, he could never really demonstrate the consistent offense that amazed fans and ignited the hype at the professional level. After being traded to the Colorado Avalanche at the 2014-15 NHL trade deadline, Hamilton found his way into a regular NHL lineup, and while he only scored one point in 17 games, he looked like a serviceable professional.
5th round, 136th overall: Isaac Macleod, D, Penticton Vees (BCHL)
NHL Games Played: 0
At 18 years old, Isaac Macleod had the body of an NHL player. He was a strong 6’4, weighed in at 205 pounds, and played a non-flashy defensive game that scouts seemed to really love. Throughout his NCAA career with Boston College, Macleod didn’t really do anything to impress, and while the Boston College team had its moments in the public eye, Macleod was always too quiet to be noticed–and that might have hurt his stock. Macleod is not a bad hockey player, and he probably deserved a better shake than what happened to him after finishing college, but the big defenseman continues to battle for a professional contract while playing for the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL. Macleod is a great example of how it’s difficult to draft a defensive defenseman when you’re looking at young 18-year-old players, and yet also how much parity there is between these types of players.
Abeltshauser’s size, skating ability, and offensive instincts made him the perfect late round pick for the Sharks. He was the type of late round player the Sharks could feel good about gambling on, because of his high ceiling. Mired by the “star factor,” having played his CHL hockey with Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, Abeltshauser has risen up the Sharks prospect rankings year after year and became one of the most notable defensemen in the system. However, the past season and a half has been a huge letdown for the tall but non-physical German defender. As good as he is, he has not really developed a ton since his draft year, and the same book can be thrown at him today as back then. He isn’t strong enough, nor physical enough, to play the type of game he needs to in tight, and while he can carry the puck out of the zone with above average skill, he is noticeably sloppy with the puck and can cause nasty turnovers. He thinks he’s better than he is and that’s dangerous in the pro ranks.
The 2014-15 season saw Abeltshauser slowly becoming the organization’s new whipping boy (a title once held by another big defender, Nick Petrecki) as he found himself demoted to the ECHL. Abeltshauser still has tremendous potential, but the clock is ticking, and sooner or later, that potential is going to have to either come to fruition or completely dissipate.
7th round, 188th overall: Lee Moffie, D, University of Michigan (CCHA)
NHL Games Played: 0
As an 18-year-old playing for the University of Michigan, Lee Moffie looked well on his way to becoming a good puck-moving defenseman and the pick seemed warranted, especially at this 7th round slot. He featured modest speed, a great first pass, and decent size. However, aside from a somewhat impressive junior year in Michigan where he strung together 32 points, Moffie really struggled in both zones. He just couldn’t earn an NHL contract with the Sharks, even at a time when the blueline wasn’t as deep. The 24-year old currently plays in the ECHL, and while the dream isn’t over, he has a long way to go to claw his way back into the upper reaches of the North American professional leagues.
Chris Crane was ranked 181st by CSS in their final North American Rankings heading into the 2010 draft, so his selection was pretty par for the course. Crane, like Coyle and Gaede played a decent two-way style, and possessed elements of a power forward’s game from the right side. It is interesting that out of all of those right wingers, it would be Crane who furthered himself the most within the organization. Crane earned himself a contract at the end of his collegiate career at Ohio State, and played inconsistently for the Worcester Sharks for over a season. He has been bounced around from league to league, and most recently found himself playing in the ECHL. Due to his strong work ethic, the blue-collar forward still has an outside chance of cracking an NHL lineup, but the chances of that dwindle by the second. There are glimmers of fourth-line potential for Crane, but he’s going to have to continue to mature his game, especially on the forecheck.
Notable Playoff Performances
In their final season in Worcester, the Sharks’ AHL affiliate was swept in four games. In that span however, a few players really impressed. Chris Tierney took his tremendous NHL experience and put in a really solid effort. He was outmatched at times, and you could tell he was trying to put the team on his back, but he was solid in all three zones. Dylan DeMelo continues to impress, and was easily the best defender for the Sharks in the series.
Despite suffering from an injury, Rourke Chartier did considerably well in the WHL playoffs. He has scored 20 points in 16 games played so far, including 3 game winning goals.
After a very strong performance against the Brandon Wheat Kings to help the Kelowna Rockets win the Ed Chynoweth Cup (The WHL’s holy grail) where Chartier scored an impressive 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points in 4 games, Chartier and company look to close out an impressive all-around season at the Memorial Cup. Chartier and his linemates Leon Draisaitl (EDM) and Nick Merkley (2015) are displaying tremendous chemistry, and Chartier looks to be playing some of his best hockey of the year.