Photo: San Jose’s 2010 draft had its best returns from American high schooler Charlie Coyle, the key component in the Brent Burns acquisition (courtesy of Paul Hebert/Icon Sportswire)
2010 was a heartbreaking year for the San Jose Sharks. They had a squad built for the playoffs, and after being the top team in the Western Conference for a second season in a row, they faltered in the Conference finals, failing to win a single game against the eventual Stanley Cup-winning Chicago Blackhawks.
Due to their success, but ultimate failure, the Sharks would pick 28th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft – a tough pill to swallow for a team that hadn’t had a 1st round selection in the two years prior (and would trade one the next year).
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.
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: Sean Kuraly had an up-and-down freshman season for Miami, but the 6’2 center’s physical tools keep him among the Sharks top college prospects (courtesy of Tim G. Zechar/Icon SMI)
Built almost entirely out of the later rounds of the draft, the San Jose Sharks NCAA prospect pool features a good mix of size and a small handful of potential NHL regulars. Of the 10 Sharks prospects who played college hockey during the 2012-13 season, eight were selected in the fifth round or later.
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.