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.
Photo: Following another productive season at Boston University, Matt Nieto has mad a strong first impression in his AHL debut with Worcester (courtesy of Michael Tureski/Icon SMI)
The San Jose Sharks prospect pool continues to get better and better. The 2012-13 season has been a strong one for development, and while there looks to be a gap in high-end skill after top prospect Tomas Hertl, a number of prospects have really played themselves into the limelight and have shown at times an ability to possibly fill that gap.
Photo: Center Travis Oleksuk is one of the Sharks' 2012 free agent signings that has struggled to make a consistent impact in his rookie season at the AHL level. (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
The Worcester Sharks and San Francisco Bulls probably did not benefit as a whole due to the lockout as much as other AHL and ECHL organizations, but the individual San Jose Sharks prospects on the teams have made tremendous strides so far in the 2012-13 season. Injuries have slowed down development, but generally the end of 2012 and the start of 2013 has shown great improvement in the Shark’s prospect pool thanks in part to these AHL and ECHL players.
Photo: Left wing Matt Nieto leads a shallow group of winger prospects for the San Jose Sharks. (courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI)
The San Jose Sharks have long believed in the philosophy of taking things slow, and letting young players develop to earn the opportunity to play with the big club. Unfortunately for the Sharks in the last five years, there have not been many opportunities earned.