Photo: Sharks prospect Rudolfs Balcers and the Stavanger Oilers fell in the Champions Hockey League tournament but the Latvian star is on pace to shatter his league scoring totals (courtesy of Ocelari Trinec/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)
With an underrated group of players at all levels of play, the 2015-16 San Jose Sharks prospect pool is easily one of the deepest collective systems in the league. On an individual front, there are many exciting stories and players to keep an eye on this upcoming season. Chris Tierney is on the cusp of becoming something truly special, Colin Blackwell eyes his first healthy season in years, and Mirco Mueller will be looking for a season of redemption.
Photo: San Jose Sharks prospect Timo Meier, the team’s first top ten draft pick since 2007, is part of a European talent influx into the organization (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
Over the course of two off-seasons, the San Jose Sharks have vastly improved their prospect ranks. The once small and meager prospect pool has quietly evolved into a massive, shark-infested ocean.
While still lacking in true blue chip talent, this is without a doubt the strongest crop of players the Sharks have had in their system in the last ten seasons. But that comes as no surprise with the decline of the NHL roster and its recent playoff failings. After all, prospect pools and winning are typically inversely proportional.
Photo: Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtanen contributed to Team Canada’s gold medal win at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship, scoring a goal and adding three assists in seven games (courtesy of Dan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire)
The Spring edition of the Hockey’s Future ranking of the Top 50 NHL prospects continues with the 31 thru 40 section. This part of the ranking showcases several players whose stock is on the rise, including Vancouver Canucks prospect Jake Virtainen. Read more»
Photo: San Jose second-round pick Noah Rod had nearly as many points in the playoffs as he did all season for his club, suggesting he may enjoy a breakout campaign in 2015-16 (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)
As the 2014-15 hockey season comes to a close, the San Jose Sharks are heading into uncharted waters. Their ten year consecutive playoff streak came to an end this season on the heels of what can best be described as a hopeful youth movement. With few monumental changes to the guard, the Sharks’ focus shifts heavily towards change from within. The Sharks have always had an ability to churn out prospects to fill organizational needs, and with an emerging crop of talented and underrated prospects on the horizon, they look poised to quickly get back to the high seas of success.
Photo: San Jose Sharks fifth-round pick Dan O’Regan scored the overtime winner versus Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)
The San Jose Sharks have an intriguing group of prospects at the NCAA and European levels. These prospects represent some of the highest potential this pool has to offer; it is also mired in shortcomings.