Photo: A free agent signing out of Minnesota State-Mankato, Eriah Hayes made his NHL debut with the San Jose Sharks on January 5th in Chicago (courtesy of Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)
The San Jose Sharks have considerable depth at the minor league affiliate level. Quantity does not equal quality though, and while the ranks are brimming in numbers, there is not a lot to be excited for at the halfway point of 2013-14 season.
Photo: Center Freddie Hamilton is just one of the prospects with San Jose’s AHL affiliate in Worcester with the potential to fill a complementary role in the NHL (courtesy of Scott W. Grau/Icon SMI)
Last season, San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson spoke adamantly about how the team would be going through a refresh rather than a restart. He would add small doses of youth along the way instead of tearing down his veteran squad for a full-fledged rebuild.
Photo: Defenseman Nick Petrecki found his physical game during the 2012-13 season and skated in his first NHL game on January 29, 2013 (courtesy of John Hefti/Icon SMI)
The 2012-13 season will go down as a major turning point in the San Jose Sharks prospect pool. Long gone are the days of shallow pools and bleak futures. In fact, if this season was any indication of the growth and development process the Sharks management group has in place, big things could be coming to the Sharks in the coming years.
Photo: Following another productive season at Boston University, Matt Nieto has mad a strong first impression in his AHL debut with Worcester (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
The San Jose Sharks prospect pool continues to get better and better. The 2012-13 season has been a strong one for development, and while there looks to be a gap in high-end skill after top prospect Tomas Hertl, a number of prospects have really played themselves into the limelight and have shown at times an ability to possibly fill that gap.
Photo: Center Travis Oleksuk is one of the Sharks' 2012 free agent signings that has struggled to make a consistent impact in his rookie season at the AHL level. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Worcester Sharks and San Francisco Bulls probably did not benefit as a whole due to the lockout as much as other AHL and ECHL organizations, but the individual San Jose Sharks prospects on the teams have made tremendous strides so far in the 2012-13 season. Injuries have slowed down development, but generally the end of 2012 and the start of 2013 has shown great improvement in the Shark’s prospect pool thanks in part to these AHL and ECHL players.