Sharks boast small group of depth players at junior hockey level

By HF Staff
Photo: Dylan DeMelo is an offensively talented two-way defenseman currently playing for Mississauga. In only 40 games DeMelo has already surpassed his 2010-11 point totals.  (Photo courtesy of CHL Images)

The San Jose Sharks currently have eight prospects at the junior level, led by five playing in the OHL. With the exception of William Wrenn and Justin Sefton, all were drafted in the later rounds or are free agent signings from the past two years.

OHL

Freddie Hamilton, C, Niagara Ice Dogs
Acquired: 5th round (129th overall) in 2010

Starting his fourth season in the Ontario Hockey League, Ice Dog center Freddie Hamilton is currently 20th in the league in points. A smaller center by stature, Hamilton can play in any situation and has a very high hockey IQ.

Hamilton’s solid play over his entire junior career has been rewarded when he joined his younger brother and Niagara teammate Doug Hamilton (BOS) for the 2012 WJCs. In six games, Hamilton a goal and six assists.

Michael Sgarbossa, C, Sudbury Wolves
Acquired: Free Agent, 2010

After joining his third junior team in as many seasons Sgarbossa has found a home with the Sunbury Wolves. He has shown some offensive talent, opening this season with 23 goals and 46 points in just 35 games to lead the Wolves in scoring. Currently, Sgarbossa ranks second in the OHL with 11 power play goals, and sits sixth in the league in goal scoring. Already gifted with great skating ability and fast hands, he has worked hard to improve play in his own end.


Justin Sefton, D, Sudbury Wolves
Acquired: 3rd round (89th overall) in 2011

Sefton is a classic stay-at-home defenseman who is currently leading the team in penalty minutes and ranks ninth overall in the OHL in the same category. A good skater for his size, Sefton is working on improving his offensive game and has 10 assists through 36 games. Often drawing the top forwards each night, Sefton’s plus/minus has taken a hit this season. Off the ice, Sefton has shown amazing character by winning several awards for charity work throughout the Sunbury community.


Dylan DeMelo, D, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors
Acquired: 6th round (179th overall) in 2011

Mississauga St. Michaels defenseman Dylan DeMelo has always been known as a leader, and was named assistant captain for the Majors in 2011-12. Ranking sixth in the league for scoring by defenseman, DeMelo is showing the offensive talent he is known for. Improvement in the defensive side of the game has been the focus, and he is off to a good start through 40 games.

DeMelo has tremendous hockey sense, and is a very good skater that plays a simple game. He can play in all situations, and is currently ranked second on the Majors in ice time. He will need to add some muscle before moving on to the next level.

J.P. Anderson, G, Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors/Sarnia Sting
Acquired: Free Agent, 2010

Prior to his recent trade to the Sarnia Sting, J.P. Anderson was amidst a down season, particularly after the 38 win performance he had last year. Playing behind a younger Majors team, Anderson posted a 2.88 goals against average, up from last season by almost half a goal. Anderson is however also facing an average of 15 more shots per game then he did last year.

He was recently traded to the Sarnia Sting and through three games he has allowed only six goals while sporting a 1-2 record.

QMJHL

Konrad Abeltshauser, D, Halifax Mooseheads
Acquired: 6th round (163rd overall) in 2010

After two poor seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the QMJHL Abeltshauser finished a combined minus 62 in just 106 games. Abeltshauser has turned his game around this season, and has a plus-16 through 31 games. Abeltshauser is also the Mooseheads’ leading scorer among defensemen with five goals and 24 points. Those numbers are even more impressive considering Abeltshauser boasts a sparkling resume in International competition, was voted top defenseman at the D1A U20 World Junior Championships, and also won the award for best plus/minus at that same tournament with Team Germany last season.


WHL

William Wrenn, D, Portland Winterhawks
Acquired 2nd round (43rd overall) in 2009

A two-way defenseman, Wrenn joined the Portland Winterhawks last season after a season and a half with the University of Denver. He is currently among their leaders in ice time and has three goals and nine assists through 41 games. He also has a team-leading plus-11 rating. The current captain of the team, expect Wrenn to go pro at the end of the season.

USHL

Sean Kuraly, C, Indiana Ice
Acquired 5th round (133 overall) in 2011

Returning for his third season with the Ice before heading to Miami of Ohio in the NCAA, center Sean Kuraly has taken an increased roll in ice time and has rewarded the Ice with 18 goals in just 24 games. Already known as a strong defensive center, he has found his offensive game, already surpassing his 2010-11 total of 29 points in half as many games.

Kuraly is a solid checker, and plays on the Ice top penalty killing unit. He is often out there against the top lines around the USHL. He will need to improve in the offensive zone and work on his shot, but his faceoff skills are outstanding.

Article was written by Mike Murangi.