Sharks prospect report

By pbadmin

Name: position, height/weight, age, where picked (year in parenthesis) League/team, statistical information
Awards: (Some players have two All-Star teams mentioned, this is not in error. The CHL comes out with two of them, one in the middle of the year, one at the end which never plays a game, just listed as 1st team, 2nd team or 3rd team All-Star)

Description/star ranking… The star ranking is the player’s chances of just making it to the NHL/1998 destination, where he’ll probably be next year.

*****=blue chip

Matt Bradley-RW
20 years old
4th round 102nd overall (96)
OHL/Kingston: 55GP 33G 50A +13 24PIMS
Awards: Selected to play in Eastern Conference All-Star team
Named league’s 3rd best defensive forward by OHL coaches Named Most Gentlemanly Player by OHL GMs. Named to Canadian Junior National team. Named to OHL All-Star 3rd team.

Finished 4th on the team in scoring, 16th in the league, which tells you how much offense his team has. He’s surely benefited from this, but his offense has steadily improved over the years. His ability to be the first to the puck helps not only in getting the puck out of the defensive zone, but also in picking up loose rebounds. His defense has always been great. He can be a very good 3rd line guy. Doesn’t have the scoring ability for 1st or 2nd line duty, but would be perfect for 3rd line duty. There are a lot of players who fit that role perfectly, and he can fill that role very well for the Sharks.
Ranking: ****
98 Destination: Kentucky of the AHL.

Jonathan Cheechoo-RW
18 years old
2nd round 29th overall (98)
OHL/Belleville 64GP 31G 45A 62PIMS
Awards: Named to OHL All Rookie Team Team MVP in Top Prospects Game Rookie of the Month for January

The incredible thing about this young man is that he’s only been involved in organized hockey for four years now. That is nothing short of remarkable, that he’s come this far, in such a small amount of time.
Named team MVP at Top Prospects Game, named to All Rookie team. Finished 2nd in points among rookies behind David Legwand. His speed is acceptable, but needs some work on his skating… The funny thing about his skating though, is that his acceleration is ok, and his top speed is ok, but otherwise lacking. The remedy to this is simply to build his leg strength, which he is doing. He has a very hard shot, which is into the 90’s which he can control very well. Does not often miss the net… Has a wicked backhand shot, but the question is how effective his backhand will be in the NHL. He currently spends to much time in the crease area, which he won’t get away with in the NHL. A deceivingly strong hitter. He was used on the point on the PP, then pulls up very far, almost leaving one dman back… He is incredibly competitive at everything he does, almost to a fault at times.
Ranking: ***1/2
98 Destination: Belleville of the OHL.

Brandon Coalter-LW
20 years old
5th round 127th overall
OHL/Oshawa 64GP 8G 13A 143PIMS
Awards: Oshawa Assistant Captain for last 2 years.

One of the older players drafted at age 20, was never drafted in previous drafts, although came on somewhat strong this year. Played very well in a 3rd/4th line duty, sticking up for teammates, and making sure the defense stays awake as well with a decent shot from outside. Best aspect about him is his consistency. With his 8 goals, he probably scored a goal every 8 games. Good on the PK. Very good skater. He’s the son of one of the richest families from Ontario.
Ranking: **
98 Destination: Oshawa of the OHL

Adam Cologiacomo-RW
19 years old
4th round 82nd overall (97)
OHL/Oshawa: 58GP 25G 31A +10 80PIMS
Awards: Won hardest shot competition in CHL Top Prospect Game (1997). (95.2)

A couple years ago, he was predicted to go #3 by some scouts, but slipped very badly, all the way to the 4th round. One thing that is encouraging, is that his play is very much like the NHL, so his numbers in the OHL could be close to his numbers in the NHL… That’s not saying he’ll get a point per game like he’s doing now, but he could still put up about 40-50… He has a booming shot, which he gets off incredibly quick. He positions himself in front of the net very well, and doesn’t get knocked away from it to easily. Is the type of player who creates a goal although not getting a goal or assist on it. Very good at screening the goalie and keeping the dmen occupied, trying (often failing) to clear him away from the net. He might remind you a little bit of a bigger and tougher Adam Deadmarsh. He may turn out to be the star he was once projected to be, he may turn out to be nothing. Next year should tell you a lot. Recently traded to Plymouth
Ranking: ***1/4
98 Destination: Plymouth of the OHL

Rob Davison-D
19 years old
4th round 98 overall (98)
OHL/North Bay 59GP 0G 11A 200PIMS

I’m sure there’s two stats that jump out at you… That huge goal total, and the few amount of minutes he spends in the box… Does not have a good shot… He’s not a bad passer, although every one of his assists are secondary assists showing how much he’s a stay at home defenseman… Will use his body to clear players out of crease area and just to knock guys down… Will stick up for his teammates whenever they need it, and even if they don’t… Will need to learn how to skate up further…
Ranking: **1/4
98 Destination: North Bay of the OHL.

Aniket Dhadphale-LW
22 years old
10th round 245th overall (94)
CCHA/Notre Dame: 38GP 24G 10A -4 32PIMS
Awards: CCHA player of the week for February 2nd-9th

Was in the top 20 in the CCHA in scoring. He is finally starting to show some offensive skills which were hinted at before, but never realized… Has been very streaky entire college career. Very good on the PP, using a mix of better than average speed and good size… Definitely needs to bulk up though or he’ll be knocked into the 10th row by some guys in the NHL. Will most likely go to Kentucky or one of the ECHL teams the Sharks have after graduation next year… Still a project, but possibly one of those players who you don’t see till he’s around 27 or so… Not to often you say this about someone drafted 4 years ago, but still to early to tell… May turn out to be a Dave Lowry type of player if he puts on some weight…
Ranking: *1/2
98 Destination: Notre Dame of CCHA/Kentucky of the AHL midway through season.

Joe Dusbabek-RW
20 years old
7th round 163rd overall (97)
CCHA/Notre Dame: 21GP 1G 8A -5 32PIMS
Awards: Named to US Junior National team. Named to All-CCHA freshman team last year.

Had decent offensive numbers last year, but struggled offensively this year. He’s known more for his leadership and hard play. Very tough player. This year, his goal total plummeted down to a single goal, although he did impress people in the WJC, scoring a goal and an assist in that tournament. Good leadership.
Ranking: *1/2
98 Destination: Notre Dame of the CCHA.

Jim Fahey-D
19 years old
8th round 212th overall (98)
HS/Catholic Memorial 24GP 12G 32A 28PIMS

Captained his Catholic Memorial High School team to an undefeated season. Will be attending NorthEastern University next year. Has good upside potential to him… Plays a style similar to Sandis Ozolinsh, and needs to improve like Oz does… Defense needs some work, but has improved… He could be converted to forward, as he played very high at times in high school… Has very good speed, and excellent agility… A bit of a mean streak to him… If you think you’ll take liberties with him or even the guys on the ice while he’s out there, you’re wrong… Although definitely not considered a tough guy… A project.
Ranking: **

98 Destination: NorthEastern College of HE

Terry Friesen-G
20 years old
3rd round 55th overall (96)
WHL/Swift Current: 44GP 26-10-7 2.8GAA .907Save%
Awards: Runner up for Goalie of the Year Goalie of the Month for October Named to Eastern Conference All-Star team

Always among the WHL leaders in stats… Was second in the league in just about everything this year. 2nd in goalie of the year, 2nd in Save%age, 2nd in GAA, well you get the picture… He’s a stand up goalie who likes to come out and cut off the angle… He’ll come out, cut off the angle, and take up as much of the net as possible… You’ll see more pucks clang off the pipes with Friesen than anyone else because of this… The only area he gives them to shoot at is the perimeters… He attended Sharks camp the last two years, and impressed both times. The Sharks like his development thus far.
Ranking: ***
98 Destination: Kentucky of the AHL.

Scott Hannan-D
19 years old
1st round 23rd overall (97)
WHL/Kelowna: 47GP 10G 30A +2 70PIMS
Awards: Nominated for Defenseman of the year. Invited to Canadian National Junior Team Camp

Strong skater who can rush the puck well when given even a crack or room. Likes to take it strong to the net, and handles the puck well while shoving his way through. Very accurate passer, can thread it though with the best of them… Probably best known for his consistency. He really has no weakness, just needs to refine everything up a notch. He missed time at the start of the year due to a bar fight he was involved in. He was cleared of all charges, and apparently was just in the bar while it happened… Something happened this year that most didn’t expect, he grew… He grew about an inch and a half during the season, which would have risen his stock greatly last draft… You could probably compare him to current Shark Marty McSorely, about 10 years ago… Hannan is better offensively, and better with the puck than Marty, but the defensive aspects are very similar…
Ranking: ****1/2
98 Destination: Kentucky of the AHL/San Jose of the NHL depending on pre season.

Shawn Heins-D
24 years old
undrafted (signed in 97)
IHL/Kansas City: 81GP 22G 28A -2 301PIMS
Awards: Won hardest shot competition at IHL All-Star Game (99.5mph) Set team record for goals by a defenseman. Named THNs 47th best prospect Runner up for Rookie of the Year in IHL.

Caught the eye of many NHL scouts last year, as he had at least 8 NHL teams coveting his services. The Sharks won the bidding war. The main problem with Heins is that he had always been a pretty bad skater. But that improved greatly over the last year, turning him into a legitimate prospect. He has an incredible shot from the slot, clocked just shy of 100 mph. He can lay a guy out on the ice and put the puck in the net with the best of defensemen in the IHL. Sharks GM Dean Lombardi compared him to Ed Jovanovski in his development… He may have an outside chance of making it on the Sharks with McSorely leaving, but will in all likelihood start in Kentucky next year…
Ranking: ***1/2
98 Destination: Kentucky of AHL/San Jose possible…

Miikka Kiprusoff-G
21 years old
5th round 116th overall (95)
Sweden/AIK: N/A

Despite playing for one of the worst teams in Sweden, Kiprusoff was one of the better goalies in the league… He has good mobility, and likes to come out a lot. Will use his size to the best of his advantage… Kind of reminds me a bit of Trevor Kidd in this matter. While he’s not a big goalie, he uses what he has very well. He kind of plays a mix of stand up and butterfly styles. He needs to decide which one… You can tell he often is making the decision while the puck is inbound on him, and by the time he makes up his mind, the puck is by him… He gets beat up high to much as it is for butterfly… Needs to stop thinking so much, and go out and do it. There are rumors that he or Vesa Toskala may come over to North America next year.
Ranking: **
98 Destination: Sweden league/IHL depending on contract status.

Alex Korolyuk-C
22 years old
6th round 141st overall (94)
AHL/Kentucky: 43GP 16G 23A -2 92PIMs

It seems like whenever he scores a goal, it’s on the highlight reel afterwards. While not incredibly fast blueline to blueline, he is incredibly quick with this footwork. Can stop and cut on a dime with nine cents change… As said, his goals are absolutey incredible, and when he makes a pass while on an odd-man rush, those are also incredible… Sometimes tries to get to cute with the puck, causing it to get turned over. The best word to describe “Korky” is feisty… He has a little bit of a mean streak in him, but sometimes that feistiness will cost him stupid penalties. However, he’s also very good at creating penalties. Who does that sound like? If you’re a Shark or Kings fan, you no doubt think: Tony Granato… That would be a good description, his style of play is very much like Granato’s… Korky has a little bit more flash to him, but that’s pretty much it. They’ll put up similar numbers, just about up and down the stat sheet.
Ranking: ***3/4
98 Destination: San Jose Sharks.

Eric LaPlante-LW
19 years old
3rd round 65th overall (98)
QMJHL/Halifax 40GP 19G 22A 193PIMS

Was once considered a very good prospect in the QMJHL, but his attitude has been in question, as he was sent home for a brief period of time in the middle of the season for disciplinary action. When he’s out there though, he seems to be giving everything he’s got, which Darryl Sutter will like, but has an attitude… Training camp this year should tell us a lot about whether he really wants to be a NHL player. If he does, the Sharks very well may have themselves a steal in the 3rd round.
Ranking: **1/2
98 Destination: Kentucky of AHL/Halifax of QMJHL depending on eligiblity.

Michel Larocque-G
21 years old
6th round 137th overall (96)
HE/Boston University: 24GP 17-4-1 2.2GAA .912Save%
Awards: Named HE MVP for 96/97 season Named HE Goalie of the Month for February.

Led the league in ALL stats not involving minutes played. He split time with Senior goalie Tom Noble (Chicago prospect) so only got a little more than half the starts. Although he was the starting goalie once their playoffs started… The team slipped a little bit during the playoffs, but his play remained solid. Now that Noble has graduated, he’ll have the starting job all to himself, and with it, another 15-20 games. He will be one of the most closely watched goalies in college next year. “The Rock” as they call him is the son of former Montreal Canadian Goalie by the same name… He’s a stand up goalie who is very aggressive. Is very tough, athletic, and has very quick reflexes which will serve him well with the additional speed of the NHL. The Sharks will be watching him incredibly closely, as the possibility of him playing in Kentucky after he graduates is a very real one…
Ranking: **1/2
98 Destination: Boston University of HE.

Marko Makenen-RW
21 years old
3rd round 64th overall (95)
AHL/Kentucky: 25GP 2G 2A -5 15PIMs

He’s your typical 4th line player. His main job is to go out, and make life as tough as possible for the oppositions top players. He doesn’t spend a lot of time in the box for a checker though, largely because he doesn’t really like to drop the gloves a lot. While he’s a tough player, he’s a very clean player… He needs to work on his skating skills, but there is some talent there that can be used to his advantage. He has a very good shot, which he can use from just about anywhere… He struggled this year, in his first year in North America, splitting some time from Kentucky to Louisville of the ECHL. He will be relied upon next year by Kentucky to fill some of the losses caused by the departure of the New York Islanders as a partial affiliate of the team…
Ranking: *3/4
98 Destination: Kentucky of AHL.

Robert Mulick-D
6’2″ 205lbs
19 years old
7th round 185th overall. (98)
OHL/Sault St. Marrie 61GP 0G 10A 109PIMS

See Davison… Very similar game, only Mulick doesn’t quite have the mean streak… Needs to develop a bit of a hatred toward the other team… Not the greatest fighter in the world either… Uses his body, but needs to learn how to use his fists if he’s going to use the body the way he does… Very good at clearing a screen…
Ranking: **
98 Destination: Sault St. Marrie of OHL.

John (Yevgeni) Nabakov-G
22 years old
9th round 219th
overall (94) AHL/Kentucky: 33GP 10-21-2 3.92GAA .872Save%

He impressed me very much during training camp, but struggled incredibly during the year. He steadily got better though as the year went on, as he learned the North American style of play… He was the best player in the Russian league a couple years ago. He’s had trouble learning the language, which hasn’t helped matters much… As the season went on, his play steadily improved though. There were hopes that he would take over the starting job from Jamie Ram, but that never happened due to good play by Ram, and the before mentioned struggles. Next year should be interesting, as it appears that two prospects, Nabakov and Terry Friesen will both be competing for the job… Nabakov plays just like former Shark Ed Belfour. He likes to come out and challenge the skater. He has very quick reflexes and does not get beat by a lot of highlight goals… He’ll be watched pretty closely next year, as the Sharks staff were somewhat disappointed with his play last year.
Ranking: **1/2
98 Destination: Kentucky of AHL.

Adam Nittel-RW
19 years old
5th round 107th pick (97)
OHL/Erie: 48GP 11G 17A +13 309PIMS

Finished 2nd in OHL in PIMs. Called nails by his teammates, he’s as tough as them… A very strong and tough skater, he’s a good 4th line player… Also competes at the National level in judo. Just recently traded to Mississauga, Don Cherry’s team.
Ranking: *1/2
98 Destination: Mississauga of OHL.

Cam Severson-LW
20 years old
8th round 192nd pick (97)
WHL/Spokane: 64GP 32G 36A -7 217PIMS

Was traded to Spokane midway through season from Prince Albert. One of the strongest players in the WHL… Those 215 pounds are solid muscle… Players have learned to get out of his way, or he’ll knock you down… He started his WHL career on defense, but converted to LW on a regular basis last year, and has pretty much stuck there… Since his trade to Spokane, his offense has really taken off, as he’s finally been used correctly… In his prior stays with Prince Albert, and before that Lethbridge, they tried making a finesse player out of him, that’s simply not him, he’s a power forward, period… You want to compare him to someone? Simple: Owen Nolan… Is he going to dazzle you with Friesens speed? No. Does he have a 100mph slapper? It’s not a bad shot; but no… Does he barrell you down and tell the goalie to stop it if you can? You bet… He has worked on his puckhandling skills which need some improvement, but is getting better… He hired an additional trainer to work on his stick skills, which will need improvement before making the next step… But he’s one of those Darryl Sutter type of players that the Sharks and Sutter himself love.
Ranking: ***
98 Destination: Spokane of WHL/Kentucky of AHL depending on eligibility.

Mark Smith-C
20 years old
9th round 219th overall (97)
WHL/Lethbridge: 70GP 42G 67A +28 206PIMS
Award: Named to Eastern Conference All-Star team. Candidate for league Player of the Year. Winner of CHLs “Phillips Face off Award.” Lethbridge team captain

Found some offense out of nowhere. Last year he had no significant offense to speak of, this year he finishes 7th in the league, go figure. No one expected him to explode offensively like he did, but at the same time, don’t go around saying he’s going to do that in the NHL… He’ll be watched pretty closely by Sharks scouts next year to see if aspects of his game will improve… Dody Wood once scored 100 points in the WHL… And where is his now? The AHL. Smith has the potential to be better than Wood does, but he’s not going to be scoring 100 points either. He won’t be able to rely on his toughness in the NHL, as they’re all pretty tough once they get to that level.
Ranking: **1/4
98 Destination: Lethbridge of WHL

Brad Stuart-D
18 years old
1st round 3rd overall (98)
WHL/Regina 72GP 20G 45A 82PIMS
Awards: Nominated for Defenseman of the Year. Won Hardest Shot Competition at CHL Prospects Game (95.5) Won 60 Foot Sprint at WHL All Star Game (2.814) Invited to Canadian National Junior Team. Finalist for Defenseman of the Year. Named to Eastern Conference All-Star team.

Stuart is a very good player who’s potential is unlimited… He models his play after Scott Stevens of the New Jersey Devils… He won the Hardest Shot competition (as have many Shark prospects), at 95.5mph. Nominated for defenseman of the year. He also won the 60 foot sprint. He is incredibly agile with skating speed somewhat above average, but incredibly hard to stop… Very strong on his skates, doesn’t get knocked down easily at all… Excellent puck handler, one of the best at skating the puck out of the zone, if you try to just knock him off the puck with your body, you’ll end up with him behind you, handles the puck well, although needs to learn how to dig it out some… He tries to rely on his body perhaps a little bit to much. His aggressiveness will help him in the NHL, as it seems like he plays his best games when the game emulates the NHL more than the WHL… Oddly enough, he was drafted as a wing, but transferred to defense in his first year in juniors. Capable of dominating a PP with his shot and stick handling ability.
Ranking: *****
98 Destination: Regina of the WHL.

Andy Sutton-D
22 years old
undrafted (signed in 97)
WCHA/Michigan Tech: 38GP 16G 24A 97PIMS
Awards: Named co-Defensive Player of the Year. Named to all-WCHA 2nd team.

No relation to Sharks defenseman Ken Sutton. Lombardi conceded that he has a lot of areas that he’ll need to work on, but adds a lot of depth to their minor league system… It’s players like him who epitomize the Sharks stress of the minor league system. They have their affiliate in Kentucky where he’ll be next year, and now two in the ECHL as well. It’s by signing these guys are how they’re going to build that up, and hopefully find those diamonds in the rough… Sutton is another guy who has a blast for a shot. He’s big, and uses that size of his also… Competition in the NHL is too fast for him to lay out some of the highlight reel hits he had last year, but still can be a tough dman to be reckoned with…
Ranking: *3/4
98 Destination: Kentucky of the AHL.

Vesa Toskala-G
21 years old
4th round 90th overall (95)
Finland/IIves: 43GP record N/A 2.77GAA

Led his team to the Finish league final this year. He’s the only person who you’ll ever hear me compare to Dominic Hasek… He doesn’t have any kind of style to him, he just stops the puck… He’s very athletic, with quick lateral movement across the crease… He’s very good with his stick, often hitting the puck out of the air to stop it from going in like Barry Bonds… Can get the puck up into the neutral zone with pin-point passing as well. He’s one of those players who makes his defensemen look like Hall of Fame players… Plays in an elite league, which usually consists of much older players, and is one of, if not the best goalie in Finland… There have been questions to whether he wants to move to the USA. Apparently, he is deeply devoted to his family and religion, and doesn’t want to leave what he already has. There have been rumors though that he is reconsidering his hockey career. There have also been rumors that the Sharks “will be brining a goalie over here from Europe.” (Dean Lombardi) That leaves one of two men, Kiprusoff (noted above) or Toskala. If he does come over, expect him to play somewhere in the IHL, as it would benifit his development more to face the bigger competition.
Ranking: ***1/2(if he comes)
98 Destination: Finland/IHL depending on contract status.

Miroslav Zalesak-RW
18 years old
4th round 104th overall (98)
Slovakia/HC Nitra 31GP 8G 6A 0PIMS

Was the captain of the Slovakian Under-18 team. Has absolutely incredible speed, good at handling the puck in all areas of ice, oddly enough especially in defensive zone, although he desperately needs to work on that defense… The negative is that he’s a one dimensional player, he really has no clue to what defense is right now, he must learn that if he ever plans on playing for Darryl Sutter. Offensive upside just to great to pass up on though. He has adequate size, desperately needs to use it… He really had no penalty minutes last year. His skating speed absolutely dominates one-on-one situations. He has a willingness to learn though, which is the main thing you need with Sutter… If he can learn how to get back and hold his own back on D, he can very well be a good player in this league. There’s a long line of great European players taken out of the 4th round and later, hopefully this is another. Don’t expect to see him for another few years though.
Ranking: **3/4
98 Destination: Slovakia.