Cliff Watson
Image: WI Prep Hockey

Cliff Watson


Appleton Wisconsin

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









6th round (168th overall), 2012


198 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C


2010-11: Cliff Watson play for Appleton United High School team in the WIAA of Wisconsin where the defenseman scored 18 goals along with 22 assists and 44 PIMs in 21 games. He was impressive enough for Ohio State recruiter in ask him to sign a commitment to their university at a very young age.

2011-12: Watson played his first season in the USHL with the Sioux City Musketeers where the big defender played the shutdown role and contributed eight assists and a minus 13 rating in 58 games. The Musketeers were swept 2-0 in their first round playoffs series by the Fargo Force.

2012-13: Watson played 62 games for Sioux City in his second USHL season. He scored 3 goals with 8 assists and was +10 with 65 penalty minutes. The Musketeers missed the playoffs after finishing sixth in the Western Conference. Watson de-committed from Ohio State over the summer after coach Mark Osiecki was released and announced he would play at Michigan Tech in 2013-14.


Talent Analysis

Cliff Watson is a stay-at-home defenseman who likes to make it difficult for the opposition to play in his zone. He loves the tough stuff and excels at clearing the crease, even with bigger forwards in his midst. He needs to work on his skating and one-on-one battles with the puck (a product of his below average skating skills) and he will also need to continue getting stronger to continue playing his style of game.



After de-committing from the Ohio Buckeyes after a coaching change, Watson will take his services to Michigan Tech for his freshman year.


San Jose Sharks have high-end talent but little depth

by Craig Fischer

San Jose Sharks v Nashville Predators

Photo: Freddie Hamilton has NHL-caliber skill, but a poor training camp has relegated him to the AHL for now. (courtesy of John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)


The first few weeks of the the 2014-15 season have provided an early glimpse of what San Jose Shark fans can expect going forward during the youth movement in San Jose. General manager Doug Wilson has not shied away from injecting young, inexperienced players into his roster. Read more»

San Jose Sharks maintain large group of NCAA prospects

by Craig Fischer

Sean Kuraly - Miami (Ohio) University RedHawks

Photo: Sean Kuraly had a breakout sophomore season for Miami in 2013-14, finishing third on the team with 29 points in 38 games (courtesy of Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

In recent years, the San Jose Sharks have become big-time players in the NCAA. Not only have they been victors in the free agent signing frenzy for the past few seasons, adding significant pieces to their prospect pool, but they seem to be drafting an increased number of young players choosing to take the college route for their developmental needs, especially in the later rounds of the draft.

Read more»

Balanced prospect pool paying dividends for San Jose Sharks

by Craig Fischer

Freddie Hamilton - San Jose Sharks

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.

Read more»

Depth at center and defense strengths of San Jose Sharks system

by Craig Fischer
Matt Nieto - Boston University Terriers

Photo: Left wing Matt Nieto leads a shallow group of winger prospects for the San Jose Sharks. (courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI)

The San Jose Sharks have long believed in the philosophy of taking things slow, and letting young players develop to earn the opportunity to play with the big club. Unfortunately for the Sharks in the last five years, there have not been many opportunities earned.

Read more»

Related Articles