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: The Sharks have two of their top forward prospects turning pro in 2013-14: Tomas Hertl (pictured) and Matt Nieto (courtesy of Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
The San Jose Sharks have notoriously been known as having one of the worst prospect pools in all of hockey. Yet season after season new faces from the farm make waves and the depth charts are refreshed and they remain in the hunt.
Photo: The Sharks selected Czech center Tomas Hertl 17th overall in 2012. Hertl is the only first round pick in the Sharks organization from the last five draft classes (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Just a day after trading defensemen Douglas Murray to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for draft picks, San Jose Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson made it clear that the team would not be rebuilding like many suspected; it would be refreshing.
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.