Sharks wheel and deal into seven draft picks
San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson warned after the first round of the NHL Draft that he may make some trades during the draft’s second day.
Saturday, he held true to his word.
Wilson swung two separate deals to make seven selections in rounds two through seven of the draft.
First, the Sharks traded up in the second round, moving the 51st pick and a 2015 fourth round selection to the Predators for the 46th pick. They used it on 18-year-old Julius Bergman, a Swedish defenseman who plays the puck well and is an excellent passer.
Bergman can play the point on the power play and can also be physical. He is a factor in all three zones and has good defensive instincts. He had 13 goals and 21 assists playing with Frolunda in the Swedish Hockey League last season, and is expected to play for the Frolunda Indians of the Swedish Elite League next season.
Two picks later, the Sharks stayed in Europe for No. 53, drafting Swiss forward Noah Rod. Rod is projected as a bottom-six forward or a checking line player.
Rod is lauded more for his energy and ability to get under opponents’ skin than offensive ability. Rod had 37 points in 31 games for Geneve-Servette of the National League A.
San Jose then traded the 62nd pick to the Blackhawks for the 72nd and 102nd selections, giving them two fourth-round picks.
At No. 72, they went with Alex Schoenborn, another high-energy, gritty forward. Schoenborn had 18 goals and 18 assists last season for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League, where he has spent the past two seasons.
Forward Dylan Sadowy was drafted with the 81st pick. Sadowy had a breakout season last year with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, and developed into a premium goal scorer.
Sadowy led the team with 27 goals, and after not even being ranked on the NHL’s central scouting service before the season, worked his way to becoming the 33rd-best skater in North America.
Sadowy told MLive.com after being drafted:
“It’s just starting to hit me that it’s actually happened. It’s a great experience, a great start and the beginning of a new chapter in my life.”
The Sharks’ largest draftee was Alexis Vanier, who they used the 102nd pick to select. Vanier, a French-speaking native of Quebec, is a towering 6-foot-5 and a bulky 225 pounds.
Vanier is a described as a physical, stay-at-home defenseman. However, he is still raw and could work on his staking. Vanier had 15 goals and 21 assists last season for Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
San Jose followed up Vanier’s selection by going with a much smaller player in the fifth round: Rourke Chartier, a 5-foot-11, 180 pound center who is described as “elusive” and “silky smooth.”
Highly disciplined, Chartier also has a strong worth ethic and shows his “elusiveness” by oftentimes making defenders miss. He has spent the past two seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, racking up 24 goals and 34 assists in 72 games last season.
With their final selection at No. 171, the Sharks picked Kevin Labanc, another 5-foot-11 forward, listed at only five pounds more than Chartier at 185.
Labanc, a product of New York, had 35 points last season for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. He also spent time with the U.S. National Development Team from 2011 to 2013.
Labanc was certainly relieved when he was selected, telling NJ.com:
“When I heard ‘Barrie,’ I was so relieved. I was definitely nervous. It was a long wait, but I’m glad it’s over with. I’m so happy to have been drafted by San Jose.”
Wilson expects almost all of this year’s selections to be at the Sharks’ prospects scrimmage at SAP Center on July 9. They are expected to join current Sharks youngsters Tomas Hertl and Matt Nieto, as well as top prospect Mirco Mueller.