The San Jose Sharks acquired a plethora of picks in the 2021 draft, taking nine players last month in hopes of sparking their minor league rosters with an abundance of skaters. The Sharks displayed their desperate need for forward depth, adding five to the organizations’ roster, as well as a goaltender for the first time in three years, with their second selection.
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William Eklund, C/RW, Djurgardens IF-SHL (Round 1, Pick 7)
Benjamin Gaudreau, G, Sarnia Sting-OHL (Round 3, Pick 81)
Gannon Laroque, D, Victoria Royals-WHL ( Round 4, Pick 103)
Ethan Cardwell, C, Surahammars IF-HockeyEttan (Round 4, Pick 121)
Artem Guryev, D, Peterborough Petes-OHL (Round 5, Pick 135)
Max McCue, C, London Knights-OHL (Round 5, Pick 156)
Liam Gilmartin, LW, London Knights-OHL (Round 6, Pick 167)
Theo Jacobsson, C, MODO Hockey-HockeyAllsvenskan (Round 6, Pick 177)
Evgenii Kashnikov, D, Gatineau Olympiques-QMJHL (Round 7, Pick 199)
After a major haul of nine players added to the roster, the Sharks look to reinforce all aspects of their game, adding three defensemen, five forwards, and the first goalie taken in a draft since 2018. Having their highest pick since 2003, San Jose took the impressive forward Eklund. He was projected by many analysts as one of the most productive forwards in the 2021 draft. Scouting reports predict Eklund to be one of the more prospering rookies and efficient point producers for the coming years.
Best Pick: William Eklund
With the seventh overall pick in the 2021 draft, San Jose took Eklund from Djurgardens IF of SHL. He is considered to be one of the top prospects in this draft and was a steal at seven overall. Fans should be very confident in the pick of this 18 year old forward that possesses control through puck handling and the vision of a seasoned league vet. Eklund was the Top International Prospect according to NHL Central Scouting and is poised to be a top product through San Jose’s developmental pipeline.
Worst Pick: Max McCue
When the Sharks took McCue with the 156th overall pick, it was apparent the need for forward depth was essential for the prosperity of this struggling franchise. Ranked 114th among North American Skaters Per NHL Central Scouting, McCue was very possibly under-scouted, therefore qualifying this pick as a reach. San Jose faithful will stay hopeful that the 5th rounder can show promise in the coming years.
Sleeper Pick: Benjamin Gaudreau
Ranked second amongst North American goaltenders, Gaudreau had been scouted heavily as an early second-round pick. However, goaltenders are known to slip down the boards as most teams are willing to gamble on a forward rather than a goaltender during early picks. Ben hoists a big frame that is desirable to coaches around the league and obtains the physicality and size needed to contribute to an NHL roster.
The amount of picks acquired in this draft is reason enough to give Sharks faithful hope that playoffs are on the horizon. Joining a long list of teams in the Western Conference looking to secure a title, the Sharks front office seems confident that this influx of talent will fill the holes needed to construct a competitive NHL roster. In return, it increases their chances for another championship parade in the Bay Area.
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hell yeah sharks baby