Photo: The top San Jose Sharks prospect is still Timo Meier, but finding the right linemates for the Swiss dynamo will be crucial to getting the best out of him (courtesy of Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)
The San Jose Sharks prospect pool is quite possibly the deepest it has ever been. With a lack of high picks on the horizon, it might just be the deepest it will be for a while. Then again, the Sharks organization has a propensity to find hidden gems in the later rounds of the draft, especially considering ten of the players listed on this top 20 list were drafted in the 4th round or later (and that’s not even including the three free agent signings).
Photo: University of Notre Dame goaltender and Buffalo Sabres prospect Cal Petersen has appeared in all 26 games the Fighting Irish have played in 2015-16 (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)
The second half of the NCAA hockey season is underway as teams battle for conference playoff positioning and NCAA Tournament bids. In this month’s NCAA Prospects Notebook, Hockey’s Future looks back at the many excellent performances by NHL prospects during the month of January. Read more»
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: 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.