Charlie Coyle headlines San Jose’s NCAA prospects

By Andrew Sykes
Photo: In his first season of collegiate hockey, Charlie Coyle has developed into a strong and dependable two-way forward. (Photo courtesy of

Top prospect Charlie Coyle leads a group of eight Sharks prospects who played collegiately this season, while goaltender Thomas Greiss and defenseman Dominik Bielke were the only two San Jose prospects who played overseas.


Thomas Greiss, G, 25
Acquired: 3rd round, 94th overall, 2004

After serving as the back-up to Evgeni Nabokov a year ago, Greiss found himself out of a job with the Sharks this year when the club went out and signed Antti Niemi and Antero Niittymaki. Rather than have their young goaltender play in the AHL, Greiss was loaned to Sweden where he played this season with Brynas in the SEL. In 32 games the 25-year-old German had a goals against average of 2.92 and .901 save percentage. He helped the Swedish side advance to the playoffs where they were ousted in five games.

Dominik Bielke, D, 21
Acquired: 7th round, 207th overall, 2009

Another German prospect, Bielke spent the 2010-11 season with four different teams in four different leagues. The 21-year-old blueliner played with both Berlin’s junior team and their top team in the DEL. He also saw time with Crimmitschau in the German second-league and FASS Berlin in the third.

A physical defenseman with good size, Bielke possesses a good stick and a heavy shot. He moves the puck well out of his own end and makes a crisp first pass.


Charlie Coyle, RW, 19
Acquired: 1st round, 28th overall, 2010

Since being drafted by the Sharks in the first-round of last year’s draft, Coyle has quickly become the club’s top prospect. The highly-skilled power forward played his freshman season at Boston University where he ranked fourth on the team with 26 points en route to being named the Hockey East rookie of the year.

The 19-year-old was also a member of team USA’s bronze medal-winning team at the World Junior Hockey Championships where he tied for the team lead with six points. At the tournament Coyle displayed his impressive combination of size and skill and was one of the Americans most consistently dangerous forwards.

Coyle is an exceptional skater for his size and is also a gifted stick-handler. He has soft hands and excellent puck possession skills giving him the ability to beat defenders one-on-one but opts to seek out an open team-mate more often than not.

Chris Crane, RW, 19
Acquired: 7th round, 200th overall, 2010

A rugged winger, Crane played his freshman season with the Ohio State Buckeyes. After spending two years with Green Bay in the USHL where he demonstrated a highly physical style of play, the 19-year-old signed on to play for his home-town school. In 37 games with the Buckeyes, Crane scored four goals and added six assists while being utilized in a grinding role.

A seventh-round pick in 2010, Crane will return to Ohio State where he will look to improve upon on a successful rookie season in Columbus.

Drew Daniels, RW, 21
Acquired: 7th round, 194th overall, 2008

One half of the Daniels twins, both of whom were drafted by the Sharks in 2008, Drew completed his sophomore season at Northeastern University. A very versatile player, he played 22 games on defense and the other 16 at forward where he tallied three goals and six assists on the year. The 21-year-old finished with a solid plus-three despite having to make the difficult transition between forward and defense.

Justin Daniels, C, 21
Acquired: 3rd round, 62nd overall, 2008

The twin-brother of Drew, Justin also plays at Northeastern where he missed 10 games due to injury this year and ended up with just six points in 28 games played. Unlike his brother, Justin spends all of his time on forward where he uses his strong body to be a physical presence for the Huskies. Both he and his brother have continued to improve in all areas and will look to make greater contributions next year in their junior seasons.

Cody Ferriero, C, 19
Acquired: 5th round, 127th overall, 2010

Another San Jose prospect with hockey bloodlines, Cody is the younger brother of Sharks forward Ben Ferriero. Taken in the fifth-round of the 2010 draft, Ferriero completed his freshman season at Northeastern University playing alongside fellow Sharks prospects Drew and Justin Daniels. In 34 games the 19-year-old notched four goals and three assists but as a first-year player was counted on to take care of his own end before anything else. Like his brother, Cody is a solid two-way player who is very responsible at both ends of the rink.

Isaac MacLeod, D, 19
Acquired: 5th round, 136th overall, 2010

A 6’4 defenseman with the Boston College Eagles, MacLeod played in 24 of the Eagles 39 games and proved to be a steady stay-at-home presence for one of the top teams in college hockey. A native of Nelson, British Columbia, MacLeod spent the previous season with the Penticton Vees in the BCHL before heading off to college. The 19-year-old is said to have some good natural instincts but lacks the quickness to be much of a contributor offensively. He projects as a typical defensive blueliner with excellent size and a long reach.

Lee Moffie, D, 20
Acquired: 7th round, 188th overall, 2010

A sophomore at the University of Michigan, Moffie was a solid contributor this year for the Wolverines. The 20-year-old scored eight goals and totalled 17 points in 32 games, providing an offensive punch from the back-end. An excellent skater with smooth strides and great mobility, Moffie helped lead the Wolverines all the way to the NCAA National Championship where they were defeated by the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs in an overtime thriller. He will return for his junior season where the Maize and Blue will look to contend for the title once again.

Patrick White, C, 22
Acquired: Trade with Vancouver, 2009

White wrapped up what turned out to be a disappointing career at the University of Minnesota. A first-round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 2007, White’s career high of 17 points came in his junior season. In 2010-11 the 22-year-old played in only 27 of the Gophers 36 games registering a career-low 10 points.

As one of the players sent to San Jose in the Christian Ehroff trade, White will have to turn some heads in training camp if he hopes to get a contract with the Sharks.