Sharks 2000 draft evaluation

By Gregory Maker

The San Jose Sharks had improved their point total for the sixth consecutive season in 1999-00, a streak that would last eight seasons. The Sharks posted a 35-30-10-7 record for 87 points en route to the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The 2000 NHL entry draft marked the first time in the franchise’s nine-year history that they did not have a first round selection.

San Jose had only seven picks in the 2000 NHL entry draft with only one, a second round selection, on the first day. Out of the seven players selected, only one, Chad Wiseman, has appeared in the NHL. None are NHL players and four are NHL prospects, two still with San Jose.

Tero Maatta, D – 2nd round, 41st overall (Jokerit Helsinki – FNL)
Status: NHL bust
NHL Games Played: 0

San Jose selected defenseman Tero Maatta out of Finland’s top league with their first pick. As an 18-year-old, Maatta started the following season with the Blues of SM-Liiga playing in 44 games. Since the 2000-01 season, with the exception to seven games with Assat Pori in 2002-03, Maatta has spent his whole pro hockey career in SM-Liiga with the Blues recording 49 points (11 goals, 38 assists) in 250 career games. The 6’1 213-pounder is not likely to ever play in North America.

Jon DiSalvatore, RW – 4th round, 104th overall (Providence College – NCAA)
Status: NHL prospect (St. Louis Blues)
NHL Games Played: 0

The Sharks did not pick again until the fourth round when they selected a college player, Jon DiSalvatore out of Providence College. DiSalvatore had just completed his freshman season where he recorded 27 points including 15 goals in 38 games. The 6’1 180-pound Bangor, Maine native recorded 142 points (59 goals, 83 assists) in 148 career games at Providence. DiSalvatore made his professional debut for San Jose’s AHL affiliate the Cleveland Barons during the 2003-04 season. He recorded 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists) in 74 games, and two more points, a goal and an assist, in the Calder Cup Playoffs.

DiSalvatore signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Blues prior to the start of the 2004-05 season. He played 79 games for their AHL affiliate the Worcester IceCats leading the team in goals with 22 and finishing second in points with 45 behind St. Louis prospect Jay McClement. DiSalvatore plays hard but needs to work on his defensive game as he finished with a -17 plus/minus rating. DiSalvatore will more than likely play with the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL next season after the Blues relocated their AHL affiliate.

Michal Pinc, C – 5th round, 142 overall (Rouyn-Noranda – QMJHL)
Status: NHL bust
NHL Games Played: 0

San Jose selected Czech Republic native Michal Pinc with their third selection. Pinc had played one season in the QMJHL, starting with Hull and ending with Rouyn-Noranda. In 58 combined games in 1999-00, Pinc recorded 62 points (19 goals, 43 assists). The 5’11 185-pounder looked like a solid selection after repeating a 62-point performance for Rouyn-Noranda in 2000-01, and was developing into a solid playmaker with a career-high 46 assists and 220 penalty minutes. Pinc returned to the Czech Republic in 2001-02. He has not been able to duplicate his success since then. He returned to North America to play in the WCHL for the 2002-03 season in which he split time between Idaho and Long Beach. Like many QMJHL players before, Pinc’s production dropped dramatically in the pros, recording only 28 points (10 goals, 18 assist) in 71 games. Pinc played in the UHL for Muskegon and Flint in 2003-04. In 75 games, Pinc managed 21 points (7 goals, 14 assists). Pinc did not play in a known professional league in 2004-05.

Nolan Schaefer, G – 5th round, 166th overall (Providence College – NCAA)
Status: NHL prospect
NHL games played: 0

San Jose selected their only goaltender in the draft with their fourth selection, Nolan Schaefer, a teammate of Jon DiSalvatore at Providence College. Like his counterpart, Schaefer had just completed his freshman year going 6-5-1 in 14 games as a backup with a 3.24 GAA and .904 save percentage. Schaefer graduated from Providence College in 2003 with a record of 45-39-10, a GAA of 2.99 and a save percentage of .908. The 6’2 195-pounder from Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan made his pro hockey debut with Fresno of the ECHL in 2003-04 going 5-5-0 before being promoted to Cleveland of the AHL where he played well going 14-9-3. His sophomore season was not as successful. While still with Cleveland, Schaefer split time with fellow Sharks’ prospect Dmitri Patzold going 17-23-1 in 43 games. His GAA increased to 2.73 from 2.34 from his rookie season and his save percentage decreased from to .907 from .925. In Schaefer’s defense, Cleveland iced a weaker team in his second season. It will be hard for Schaefer to break into San Jose with their goaltending depth. His future remains in Cleveland next season.

Michal Macho, C – 6th round, 183rd overall (Martin – Slovakia Jr.)
Status: NHL bust
NHL Games Played: 0

San Jose selected another undersized forward with their fifth selection, 5’11 171-pound Slovakia native Michal Macho. Macho never signed and entered the top Slovakian league for the 2000-01 season. In five pro seasons in the Slovakian league, two with Matimex ZTS Martin HC and three with Bratislava Slovan Harvard, Macho has recorded 86 points (37 goals, 49 assists) in 205 games. Macho’s future remains in Europe.

Chad Wiseman, LW – 8th round 246th overall (Mississauga – OHL)
Status: NHL prospect (New York Rangers)
NHL Games Played: 8

Chad Wiseman remains the only player drafted by San Jose in 2000 that has played in the NHL. Wiseman played four games with San Jose in 2002-03 and four games with the Rangers in 2003-04. After two and a half seasons with the Mississauga IceDogs, the Burlington, Ontario native finished his junior career with the Plymouth Whalers in 2000-01. Wiseman signed with San Jose and was sent to Cleveland of the AHL where he impressed the franchise with consecutive 50-point seasons in his first two seasons in pro hockey. The 6’1 209-pounder was traded to the Rangers for Nils Ekman before the 2003-04 season. He recorded his third consecutive 50-point season in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack in 2003-04 making it to Broadway for four games where he scored a goal, his only NHL point to date. Wiseman, 24, is on the verge of making it to the NHL. With a young team in the Big Apple, he looks like a part of the Blueshirts’ future.

Pasi Saarinen, D – 8th round, 256th overall (Ilves Tampere – FNL)
Status: NHL bust
NHL Games Played: 0

In hopes of getting a player further in his development, the Sharks took a chance on 23-year-old Pasi Saarinen of Ilves Tampere out of the Finnish SM-Liiga. Saarinen was coming off a career best 28-point (9 goals, 19 assists) season in 1999-00 for Ilves Tampere of SM-Liiga. However, Saarinen did not sign and went to Jokerit Helsinki of SM-Liiga. He played there for two seasons before playing for HIFK Helsinki the last three seasons. In 411 games spanning 11 seasons, nine of them full, Saarinen recorded 112 points (49 goals, 43 assists) in SM-Liiga. The 5’11 198-pounder has not equaled his point production before being drafted. Saarinen is now 28 years old.

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