Sharks junior prospects update

By Martin Christ

The San Jose Sharks currently have three prospects in each of the WHL
and OHL. While it was anticipated that the combination of 2005 and 2006
first-round draft picks Devin Setoguchi and Ty Wishart would
make all the headlines in Prince George, it has not turned out that way.
Goaltending prospect Taylor Dakers has been the Sharks’ most solid WHL
performer backstopping the Kootenay Ice.

In the OHL, Jamie McGinn and Derek Joslin are major parts
of the Ottawa 67’s while low-scoring defenseman James DeLory has
turned overtime specialist with the Oshawa Generals.

Devin Setoguchi, F — Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Acquired: Drafted first round, 8th overall, 2005

Devin Setoguchi’s start to his final year of junior hockey has been the
greatest test of his young career. First a knee injury during a summer
workout wiped out any opportunity he had to make an impression at his
second Sharks training camp. Then, when he returned home to Taber,
Alberta prior to joining the Saskatoon Blades, a call from the Blades’ coach
Lorne Molleken informed him he had been traded to the Prince George Cougars.
Setoguchi had envisioned his junior career would be completed in
Saskatoon and was shocked by the move.

The Cougars underachieved during the early season to the point where
their coach, Mike Vandekamp, was fired and this further added to Setoguchi’s
discomfort. In the first week of November, Drew Schoneck took over from
interim coach (Prince George GM) Dallas Thompson, giving Setoguchi three
coaches in six weeks. It is understandable that he was not
performing to his standard, owing to the instability in Prince George and the
amount of time he had to be off skates due to his injury.

All is not lost for Setoguchi’s 2006-07 season. He displayed incredible
jump and effort in the WHL’s 5-3 Nov. 29 win over the touring Russian
Selects, adding a goal to his physical play. His eight goals and eight
assists in 21 games is not bad considering all that has transpired and
it appears he is just now rounding into top form. Setoguchi was deeply
disappointed in not making Canada’s World Junior team last year and is
hoping the recent upturn in his play will result in a roster spot on
this year’s Team Canada a few weeks from now.

Ty Wishart, D — Prince George Cougars (WHL)
Acquired: Drafted first round, 16th overall, 2006

Also impacted by upheaval and injury in Prince George was the Sharks
top 2006 draft choice, Ty Wishart. Wishart missed nearly two weeks with
a concussion three games into the season and then was slowed by a groin
injury in early November. He missed another game when, upon his return to the
team after his injury, his equipment failed to arrive in time for a road
game in Chilliwack. When in the lineup the big Comox, British Columbia native
seems to never leave the ice and recorded three goals and nine assists in 19
games. Wishart has stated in the past that he wants to work most on his
skating and outlet passing and it appears this is paying dividends.

Like Setoguchi he is looking to put his personal and the team’s rough
start behind him. He took another step in that direction when he scored two
goals and was named Canadian player of the game in the WHL’s Nov. 29
5-3 victory over the Russian Selects.

Taylor Dakers, G — Kootenay Ice (WHL)
Acquired: Drafted fifth round, 140th overall, 2005

Taylor Dakers’ exceptional play with the Kootenay Ice further emphasizes the
Sharks depth at the goaltending position. Dakers played two games in
this September’s Pacific Division Shootout and stayed with the Sharks through
training camp until Oct. 3 when he returned to the WHL as
an overage player. In his first 13 games, he has only two regulation losses
with Kootenay. He has a .910 save percentage and his 2.42 GAA ranks him
seventh in the WHL.

It seems all of the Sharks WHL prospects were destined to fight injury
this season as Dakers too has been sidelined. He was forced to leave after
the first period of Kootenay’s Oct. 18 7-3 win over Red Deer with an
abdominal injury. He returned to action Nov. 12 and recorded a
5-3 win over Prince Albert. Dakers has made it clear he is near the top of
the Sharks’ young goaltender crop and they are sure to find him a
place in professional hockey next season.

Jamie McGinn, F — Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Acquired: Drafted second round, 36th overall 2006

McGinn leads Ottawa with 15 goals and 27 points in 23
games. He brings a constant spark to his team, never backing away from
corners or available hits. He continues to play a robust game though now in his
third season with the 67’s he appears to be picking his spots a little
better. The 67’s team started slowly but the team has recently won
three straight games thanks, in part, to the contributions of McGinn.

The Ottawa 67’s coach Brian Kilrea has placed a lot of faith in McGinn
and that belief was passed on to his long time friend, Sharks’ GM Doug
Wilson. Kilrea has been around so long he even coached Wilson when he was the
star of the 67’s in the mid 1970’s. Kilrea’s tip on McGinn looks well
founded as he projects to be the second or third-line feisty, scoring forward
that every NHL team seeks.

Derek Joslin, D — Ottawa 67’s (OHL)
Acquired: Drafted fifth round, 149th overall 2005

Derek Joslin may suffer from falling into neither the bruising, nor the
offensive category of defenseman, but he has shown good leadership
qualities. At the start of the 2006-07 season Joslin was named co-captain of the
Ottawa 67’s along with Elgin Reid. He has yet to score a goal but cannot be
unhappy with his progress and consistent, steady play. He has
registered 15 assists in 23 games and served 27 minutes in penalties. With the aid of
his strong shot from the point, he will likely break the goal scoring
drought sooner rather than later.

Joslin is competing in what should be his final year of junior play and
will likely need a year or two of minor pro seasoning before potentially
taking a shot at a third defensive pairing position with the Sharks.

James Delory, D — Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Acquired: Drafted fourth round, 98th overall 2006

James Delory is a big, hard-hitting defenseman but lately he has been
evolving into a secret overtime goal scoring weapon. On Nov. 9
Delory’s first goal of the season gave the Generals a 3-2 overtime win over the
London Knights. Ten days later his second goal was also the overtime
winner in a 6-5 victory over the Sudbury Wolves.

Unfortunately, between heroic episodes, Delory was suspended for
disciplinary reasons, along with four teammates, for the Generals’
Nov. 16 game against the Barrie Colts. Delory also served a five-game
suspension early in the season for a hit to an opponent’s head in a
game against the Kingston Frontenacs. He has played in 18 games scoring two
goals and four assists with 56 minutes in penalties.

Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.