San Jose Prospects Update

By Kevin Wey

While some San Jose Shark players like Gary Suter are nearing the end of their careers, the Sharks have plenty of prospects with the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League, NCAA DI college hockey, various European leagues, and major juniors in Canada. Many readers are likely familiar with many of these prospects, but some of them are not so well known to Shark fans, and perhaps they should be.

Summaries of Shark prospects with the Cleveland Barons will be available at a later date. Of some Cleveland news: Ryan Kraft, Mike Craig, and Jonathan Cheechoo have all been selected to play in the AHL All-Star Game. (Cheechoo as a starter) However, Cheechoo has missed the past 16 games due to injury.

Some prospects that are considered “graduated” are included within the report, and are among those that are probably the least known among the Sharks prospects. Some prospects who do not have their own profile at Hockey’s Future will also feature career stats along with their current season stats. As follows is a report by position of the 40+ San Jose Shark prospects.

Statistical Note:
All Stats as of February 2, 2002

Goaltenders

Jonas Forsberg
5’10” 160 lb. Catches: Left
6/16/75 Stockholm, Sweden

SeasonTeam League GPGAAWLTSOSV%
92-93 Djurgarden Swed. Jr.41 2.78 ??? 0 ?
92-93SwedenEJC 42.00?????
93-94 Djurgarden SEL  1 4.00 ???0 ?
93-94SwedenWJC 00.0000000.00
94-95 Djurgarden SEL 1 6.00 ???0 ?
94-95SwedenWJC 53.21?????
95-96 Djurgarden SEL Injured, Did not play
96-97Manglerud NEL  16 4.81 ???0?
97-98 Sodertalje SEL  23 2.88 ???0.897
97-98Sodertalje        Swe. 1 Div. *102.30????.898
98-99 AIK Stockholm SEL  29 2.91  ???2.892
99-00 AIK Stockholm SEL  30 3.22  ???2 .885
00-01 Linz OEL 442.77????.913
01-02 Valerenga NEL 1.9911220.

While Jonas Forsberg may no longer be considered a prospect under the technical terms at Hockey’s Future, he’s somebody Shark fans may wonder about. Earlier in his career, Forsberg was an inconsistent goalie, but in the past three seasons has becoming more consistent. He was one of the better goalies in the Austrian league last season (sorry about the unavailability of stats, but I remember seeing him near the tops last season at the OEL website), but in the Norwegian League he’s splitting time at Valerenga with Tommy Lund. (Valerenga is far and away the best team in the Norwegian Elite League) The Sharks still include him in their prospect updates though, so here he is too.

Marc Kielkucki
6’4” 195 lb. Shoots: Left
6/5/79 Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

SeasonTeamLeagueGPG.AAWLTSOSV%
97-98Air ForceNCAA DI Ind.56.890100.757
98-99 Air ForceNCAADI Ind.333.33141525.879
99-00Air ForceCHA373.05181623.887
00-01Air ForceCHA352.851411642..908
01-02DaytonECHL82.24311.924

Marc Kielkucki is one of two Shark prospects with ties to the U.S. Military. (Andy Lundbohm is the other) Kielkucki is currently stationed/assigned to Dayton, where he plays for the Bombers of the ECHL. Last season he was the CHA Player of the Year. He has behind two other goalies in Columbus, 99-00 CHA Player of the Year Greg Gardner (Blue Jacket property) and former University of North Dakota netminder Karl Goehring. Thus, his playing time this season has been limited, and he’s a ways away from the NHL. He’s just come off of a 30 day IR, and is now behind Gregg Naumenko. (The former Duck prospect) but he’s San Jose’s only large goalie prospect. He’s known for his quick glove.

Miikka Kiprusoff
San Jose NHL
14GP 5-4-2 (W-L-T) 1SO 2.69G.AA .908SV%
Cleveland AHL
4GP 4-0-0 (W-L-T) 1.73G.AA .949SV%

Miikka Kiprusoff, after two solid season of AHL action, helped make Steve Shields dispensable. Miikka performed quite well in his five regular season games after Shields was traded, but it probably was not until the play-offs against the St. Louis Blues (when Kiprusoff filled in for the injured Evgeni Nabokov) that Shark fans truly got an idea of what they had. Miikka’s season, so far, as been marked by some inconsistency and soft goals, but also some glimpses of superior goaltending which have earned him favorable statistics. Kiprusoff also had a four game stint in Cleveland earlier this season to get him playing again while Sutter went with the hot hand in Nabokov.

Seamus Kotyk
Cleveland AHL
17GP5-8-0 (W-L-T) 1SO 3.92G.AA .887SV%

Dimitri Patzold
Koln (DEL)
6GP 3.50G.AA .874SV%
Germany Pool B WJC
4 GP 1.00G.AA .955SV%

Patzold is playing for Duisberg of the German 2nd Bundesliga during the one-month Olympic break the German Elite League has. This will allow Dimitri to keep playing and get more experience. In Cologne, (Koln) he’s behind stalwart Chris Rogles. At the international level, Patzold was the starting goalie for Germany in the Pool B World Junior Championships. He played in 4 games and helped backstop Germany to the gold medal.

Nolan Schaefer
Providence (Hockey East)
27 GP 11-12-3 (W-L-T) 3.32 G.AA .901SV%

Schaefer, a junior, is garnering nearly all of the ice-time in net for the Friars this season. Schaefer’s stats are down though from previous seasons, however Providence is 6th in the Hockey East Association currently. The Sharks scouting staff are still big on Schaefer, who does have a season of eligibility left after this one. It’s quite likely that in the future (say 03-04) Kielkucki and Schaefer will be battling for ice-time in Cleveland.

Vesa Toskala
Cleveland AHL
38GP 14-19-3 (W-L-T) 1SO 3.28G.AA .903SV%

Defense

Matt Carkner
Cleveland AHL
50GP 0G 3A 3P 238PIM

Rob Davison
Cleveland AHL
52GP 1G 2A 3P 179PIM

Christian Ehrhoff
Krefeld (DEL)
37GP 5G 12A 17P 44PIM
Germany Pool B WJC.
5GP 3G 7A 10P 10PIM

Christian Ehrhoff is having a decent season so far. In the German Elite League with Krefeld he is experimenting with things, which is leading to the occasional error. However, in the long-run this experimenting will likely make Ehrhoff a better defenseman. What is especially promising is the fact that Ehrhoff has been named to the German Olympic team. He also represented Germany at the Pool B WJC, where he was the fifth leading scorer of the tournament and tops out of all defensemen. The season hasn’t been entirely good though, as Ehrhoff took a stick to the eye which left a nasty shiner and may easily scar. Ehrhoff is expected to eventually regain his original vision, and he was/is not in the same situation as Bryan Berard.

Jim Fahey
Northeastern
27GP 12G 21A 33P 44PIM

Fahey, the captain (and leading scorer) of the Northeastern Huskies is garnering support for a run at the Hobey Baker Trophy. Of his 12 goals, eight are on the power play. Fahey is a +12 for the season and has let 117 shots loose already this season. Fahey can definitely bank on a position with the Cleveland Barons next season.

Jesse Fibiger
6’3” 210 lb. Shoots: Left
4/4/78 Victoria, British Columbia

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
96-97VictoriaBCJHL536182488
97-98Minn-DuluthWCHA4036982
98-99Minn-DuluthWCHA364162061
99-00Minn-DuluthWCHA37461083
00-01Minn-DuluthWCHA3708856
01-02ClevelandAHL523101375

Jeff Jillson
Cleveland AHL19GP1G11A 12P39PIM
San JoseNHL32GP3G10A13P29PIM

Jillson started this season with the Sharks because of Mike Rathje’s hold-out. Jillson quickly established himself as a power play weapon with his booming right-handed shot. But as the season progressed Jillson’s role was only that of a power play option and was eventually sent to Cleveland after Rathje was signed and got into game shape. Soon into his stint in Cleveland, Jillson was injured. Upon regaining health, he played more games with the Barons, only to be recalled when Rathje sprained his knee. Jillson and Steve Bancroft have both been sent down to Cleveland again, where Jillson will continue to log a lot of minutes and hone his defensive game against AHL competition.

Robert Jindrich
Timra (Swedish Elite League)
Currently unavailable

Tero Maatta
Espoo (Finnish Elite League)
39GP 2G 3A 5TP 49PIM
Finland (WJC)
7GP 1G 2A 3P 4PIM

Maatta, a defensive-defenseman for the Espoo Blues, has drawn some comparisons to the Sharks’ Marcus Ragnarsson. HF’s Heikki Kallionsivu points out that Maatta has been serving his mandatory army service, which normally negatively affects a player. Kallionsivu also says that Tero is a good kid who just needs experience and good coaching. Maatta also needs to work on his foot speed and his conditioning some. When the Sharks and Tero are ready, it might be best off for Maatta to spend his first summer in San Jose before training camp working out at Joe Grasso’s Power Bodies doing a lot of explosive leg work, such as plyometrics and sprints.

Extra cardiowork would also add in reducing his fat levels a bit. Maatta had a decent WJC’s for Finland, and that is a reason for optimism for the Sharks. If one considers the age Ragnarsson was when he came to the Sharks, Maatta has time on his side. Tero’s odds of making the NHL appear to be better than that of another infamous Shark pick out of Finland. (Teemu Riihijarvi, who actually had a decent season for the Pelicans last season)

Robert Mulick
Cleveland AHL
38GP 0G 2A 2P 61PIM

Doug Murray
6’3” 220 lb. Shoots: Left
3/12/80 Bromma, Sweden

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
98-99ApplecoreEJHL6017476462
99-00CornellECAC3236938
99-00Cornell*ECAC11010
00-01CornellECAC255131839
00-01Cornell*ECAC40448
01-02  CornellECAC217111847

Doug has played all 19 games for the Cornell Big Red this season and the junior leads all Cornell defensemen in scoring. Doug has made steady progress all three years at Cornell and will no doubt play his senior year at Cornell and then he and the Sharks can make a decision on the Swede who was drafted out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League’s New York Applecore (EJHL).

Angel Nikolov
6’2” 205 lb. Shoots: Left
11/18/75 Most, Czech Republic

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
92-93LitvinovCzech Jr.38481234
93-94LitvinovCzech132248
93-94LitvinovCzech Jr.215101532
94-95LitvinovCzech41145??
94-95Czech Rep.WJC71016
95-96LitvinovCzech40178??
95-96Litvinov*Czech1101110
96-97LitvinovCzech4709944
97-98LitvinovCzech51145??
97-98 Litvinov*Czech403327
98-99LitvinovCzech515121754
99-00LitvinovCzech486152136
99-00Litvinov*Czech7123??
00-01LitvinovCzech485111685
00-01Litvinov*Czech60116
01-02JyvaskylaFEL41481248

Nikolov, after years of playing in the Czech Extraliga, is playing for JYP Jyvaskyla of the Finnish Elite League. Nikolov leads all defensemen on his team in scoring, but Angel tends to be a defenseman who concentrates on defense first and then offense. (Similar to Jindrich when he was in the AHL.) HF’s Robert Neuhauser says that Nikolov’s passing is a bit better than Jindrich’s, and Nikolov has a harder shot. (Which he keeps low) Nikolov’s contract with JYP is for 2 more seasons, which will likely prevent him from coming to North America. But as far as development has gone for Nikolov in Europe, he has become a respected defenseman who is able in both ends and willing to drip the gloves and play a physical game. (Neuhauser considers him superior to Jindrich, who battled for a spot with the Sharks in training camp in 1999.)

Pasi Saarinen
5’11” 195 lb. Shoots: Right
4/17/77 Tampere, Finland

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
93-94Ilves-Tampere Fin. Jr.A3454924
93-94 Ilves-TampereFin. Jr. A*61234
93-94Ilves Tampare Fin. Jr. B.51012
94-95Ilves-Tampere Fin. Jr.A2445955
94-95Ilves-Tampere Fin. Jr. B522450
94-95Ilves-TampereFEL10000
95-96Ilves-Tampere FEL701110
95-96Ilves-TampereFin. Jr. A822424
95-96KooVee Tam.1st Division711222
96-97Ilves-TampereFEL4443783
96-97Ilves-TampereFEL*610110
96-97Ilves-TampereFin. Jr. A733612
96-97Ilves-TampereFin. Jr. A*200010
97-98Ilves-TampereFEL361181973
97-98Ilves-Tampere Cont. Cup30112
98-99Ilves-TampereFEL45281056
98-99Ilves-Tampere EHL*62026
99-00Ilves-TampereFEL509192879
00-01JokeritFEL52691579
00-01Jokerit*FEL52024
01-02 JokeritFEL2400018

After some good seasons with Ilves, Saarinen is finding it difficult to find playing time with Jokerit. Saarinen is a strong defenseman who plays a physical game, although he sometimes takes stupid penalties. Unless he can start putting up the sort of numbers with Jokerit as he did with Ilves, the Sharks will probably just let him stay in Finland, as the Sharks have plenty of other defense prospects. From the “Where Are They Now” box, Saarinen plays with ex-Sharks Ville Peltonen, Petri Varis, and Jamie Ram. (Peltonen being the only one to play NHL regular season games for the Sharks)

Centers

Tom Cavanaugh
5’10” 180 lb. Shoots: Left
3/24/82 Warwick, Rhode Island

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
00-01  ExeterUSHSE
01-02HarvardECAC20411154

The freshman center for the Harvard Crimson is already tied for 5th in scoring with sophomore winger Dennis Packard. (A Tampa Bay Lightning prospect) He’s hit a bit of a slump lately, but with three years of college hockey ahead of him, he’s got plenty of time to build on what looks to be a solid freshman year. On a personal note, Tom is one of 9 children!

Marcel Goc
Schwennigen (DEL)
45GP 8G 9A 17P 24PIM
Germany Pool B WJC
5GP 4G 2A 6P 2PIM

Goc got off to a very slow start at the beginning of the season, but has picked it up as of late. However, after the Olympic Break Goc will be playing for Mannheim after he was traded for cash. Hockey’s Future writer Oliver Janz reported that Goc was the only player with a valid contract with Schwennigen for next season, leading to speculation that the Wild Wings will cease to exist in the DEL next season. Janz also reported that Goc has a valid contract with Mannheim through the 04-05 season.

While Goc’s DEL season hasn’t gone as he had hoped, he put in a decent performance at the Pool B WJC’s (although outdone by fellow Shark prospect Christian Ehrhoff) and has been named to the German Olympic Team. Shark fans can look forward to watching Goc and Ehrhoff in Olympic action on CNBC in February. The Olympics will be a good place for Goc to find out how good his face-off abilities really are. In the DEL he’s at 54%.

Ryan Kraft
Cleveland AHL
46GP 16G 31A 47P 36PIM

Andy Lundbohm
Cleveland AHL
31GP 4G 4A 8P 26PIM

Michal Macho

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
97-98MHC MartinSlovak. Jr554458102-
98-99King Edge HillUSHSE504555100-
99-00MHC MartinSlovak. Jr30384482
99-00MHC MartinSlovak. 1.81564
00-01MHC MartinSlovak EL375101512
01-02MHC MartinSlovak.EL36128204
01-02SlovakiaWJC70226

Macho is 4th in scoring on Martin of the Slovakian Extraliga. However, Martin is currently 9th out of 10 teams in the Slovakian Extraliga. (The top league in Slovakia) Macho’s WJC this season wasn’t too bad, and the fact he was on the Slovakian team is not a bad sign. Perhaps the biggest positive for Macho was his face-off percentage was 56%. (The same as Goc’s FO% in the Pool B WJC’s) The right-shooting Slovak has good skating abilities, playmaking, and decent awareness on his resume, but he could be a bit grittier battling for pucks (says HF’s Robert Neuhauser).

Graig Mischler
6’3” 195 lb. Shoots: Left
9/15/78 Holbrook, New York

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
97-98NortheasternHE397132022
98-99NortheasternHE338152336
99-00NortheasternHE349142322
00-01NortheasternHE3610324234
01-02ClevelandAHL459101942

Michal Pinc
Chomutov 1. Liga (Czech)
25GP 3G 4A 7P 36PIM

Pinc put up good numbers in the QMJHL the two seasons he played there. However, Pinc has returned to the Czech Republic and plays for Chomutov of the 1. Liga. (This is the second highest level in the Czech Republic behind the Extraliga.) Pinc’s numbers for Chomutov aren’t overly impressive. HF’s Robert Neuhauser says Pinc is a skilled player who needs to put the intangibles together and is a long-shot to ever play for the Sharks.

Mark Smith
San Jose NHL
34GP 3G 2A 5P 66PIM

Of all of the Sharks’ regular face-off men, Mark Smith leads the Sharks with a face-off percentage of 54.67%. (As of the All-Star Break) The scrappy, speedy center makes a good energy line center and it is probable that this will be the type of role he will have his entire career.

Left Wings

Jonathan Cheechoo
Cleveland AHL
33GP 18G 19A 37P 34PIM

Mark Concannon
University of Massachussetts-Lowell (Hockey East)
25GP 3G 9A 12P PIM (Not available)

After missing much of last season injured, Concannon has played all 24 games for the UMass-Lowell River Hawks this season. The River Hawks’ coaching staff was hopeful he would emerge as a top scorerthis season, but the strong forward has not delivered in that regard. Concannon is 7th in scoring on the River Hawks (not a high-scoring team anyway), and the junior will have to finish this season strong and have a solid senior season to attract attention from the Sharks again.

Eric Laplante
Cleveland AHL
53GP 6G 10A 16P 217PIM

Lynn Loyns
5’10” 190 lb. Shoots: Left
2/231/81 Naicam, Saskatchewan

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
97-98SpokaneWHL49112138
98-99SpokaneWHL7220305043
99-00SpokaneWHL7120294947
00-01SpokaneWHL6631427381
01-02ClevelandAHL49461061

Tomas Plihal
Kootenay (WHL)
52GP 25G 38A 63P 22PIM

Plihal is leading the Kootenay Ice in scoring this season and is third among a three-way breakaway for the rookie scoring title between Mikhail Yakubov, Jeremy Jackson, and Plihal. Plihal has been playing a great deal of center this season for Kootenay, and the durable forward could play for Cleveland next season, as he was drafted out of the Czech Republic by the Sharks after a good season of juniors with Liberec.

Chad Wiseman
Cleveland AHL
49GP 17G 20A 37P 24PIM

Right Wings

Matt Bradley
San Jose (NHL)
29GP 5G 5A 10P 27PIM

Bradley struggled to crack the San Jose roster earlier in the season, but lately he’s been chipping in the odd point. Like Mark Smith, Bradley is reasonably physical and also quite fast. While Bradley has never put up numbers comparable to Smith in the AHL in previous seasons, his recent production hints at the possibility of being a 3rd line right wing in the future, instead of just a 4th line right wing. Bradley has been called upon over the offensively creative and spunky (but defensively suspect) Alexander Korolyuk, whose style of play doesn’t seem to fit in with Darryl Sutter’s systems.

Ryan Clowe
6’2” 190 lb. Shoots: Left
9/30/82 St. John’s Newfoundland

TeamSeasonLeagueGPGATPPIM
00-01RimouskiQMJHL3215102543
00-01 Rimouski*QMJHL1181912
01-02RimouskiQMJHL4021365787

Clowe is 4th in scoring for the Rimouski Oceanic, but he’s missed over a dozen games due a broken ankle suffered around New Year’s. (Clowe is out until late February or early March) His scoring pace is actually second best on the team. He has 8 power play goals so far this season. While Clowe has good hands for scoring and fighting, and a willingness to play chippy, he’s a bit on the slow side. He spent some of the past summer at a power skating school and will likely do so again this coming season. Clowe does certainly have a future in the Sharks system though, there’s little reason to believe he won’t be offered a contract after 02-03 if he keeps improving his skating.

Adam Colagiacomo
Cleveland AHL
35GP 8G 10A 18P 24PIM

Niko Dimitrakos
Maine (Hockey East)
25GP 13G 15A 28P 22PIM

Dimitrakos is second in scoring for Maine, currently only one point behind Black Bears goal-scorer Colin Shields. Niko, a senior, has 11 of his goals at even-strength (1 PP, 1SH) and is a +13 for the season so far with 90 shots to his credit. Dimitrakos, if he can continue his play, should garner some interest from San Jose as far as a contract is concerned for next season. If not, he’ll certainly catch on with some other team and start no lower than the ECHL.

Jon DiSalvatore
Providence (Hockey East)
29 GP 14G 20A 34P 4PIM

DiSalvatore is a junior at Northeastern this season and is leading his team in scoring. (Edging out Peter Fregoe) The former EJHL Player of the Year has not missed a game for the Friars this season and should finish among the top scorers in Hockey East. At 109 shots so far this season, he is averaging between 3.76 shots a game! DiSalvatore was the Koho Hockey East Player of the Month for January.

Hannes Hyvonen
6’2” 200 lb. Shoots: Right
8/29/75 Oulu, Finland

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGATPPIM
93-94Karpat Oulu1. Division33142
93-94Karpat OuluFin. Jr. A3515132826
93-94Karpat OuluFin. Jr. A*30000
94-95TPS TurkuFEL943716
94-95TPS TurkuFEL*50002
94-95Keikko-671. Division1642610
94-95TPS TurkuFin. Jr. A10821064
94-95Keikko-67Fin. Jr. A11010
95-96TPS TurkuFEL301151649
95-96TPS TurkuFEL*710128
95-96Keikko-671. Division21018
96-97TPS TurkuFEL411051548
96-97TPS TurkuFEL*1042614
96-97TPS TurkuEHL610131
96-97TPS TurkuEHL*41352
97-98TPS TurkuFEL2026871
97-98TPS TurkuFEL*20000
97-98TPS TurkuEHL40002
98-99Espoo BluesFEL5223184174
98-99Espoo BluesFEL*42132
99-00Espoo BluesFEL18527124
99-00HIFK Helsinki FEL2222465
99-00HIFK HelsinkiFEL94048
99-00HIFK Helsinki EHL*22020
00-01HIFK Helsinki FEL5614122636
00-01HIFH HelsinkiFEL*50008
01-02ClevelandAHL5221173899

Willie Levesque
Northeastern (Hockey East)
21GP 4G 7A 11P 34PIM

Levesque, a senior, is an assistant captain of the Northeastern Huskies. (Jim Fahey is a teammate) He is not having the best of seasons so far, especially considering he’s missed the last five games, and expected to miss more, with a broken finger that required surgery to insert a pin. He hopes to be back in time for the Beanpot Tournament, a much-anticipated hockey even each season in Boston. Levesque is somebody whose strength and work in the corners would be useful in the minors, but his signing may depend upon what the Sharks decide to do with Adam Colagiacomo.

Adam Nittel—Injured

Miroslav Zalesak
Cleveland AHL
47GP 16G 12A 28P 28PIM