Sharks trade down to take Nikolay Goldobin in the first round

Bruce Bennett

After trading down to the 27th overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, the San Jose Sharks selected Nikolay Goldobin from the Sarnia Sting of the OHL.

No one really knew what to expect from the Sharks today at the draft. The Sharks were pretty sure to stick somewhere near pick 20, but the most intrigue was centered around a possible trade.

"I could announce a trade..." teased Gary Bettman on the podium. Many Sharks fans around the Bay Area started to clench.

While there was plenty of speculation a star player could be involved, it ended up just being a trade down. The Sharks traded picks 20 & 179 for 27 & 62. That turns a 6th rounder into a very early 3rd. Not too shabby, although some analysis would say the Blackhawks got the slightly better end of the deal.

At 27, the Sharks made a somewhat surprising move and took Nikolay Goldobin, breaking their habit of seemingly avoiding Russian players. Goldobin, 18, is a 6-0, 185 pound winger from the Sarnia Sting. He had 38 goals and 56 assists in 67 games this season with the otherwise horrendous Sting. TSN had him ranked as the 37th best prospect in the draft, while NHL Central Scouting had him as high as 24th.

From Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus:

Goldobin was one of the top scorers in the OHL in his second season in the league; his pure offensive skill package is outstanding, one of the best in the class. He’s a gifted playmaker, which allows him to be the primary creator on the power play from the side wall. Goldobin sees his options quickly, and delivers all his passes on the tape even if he has to elevate the puck. He projects as a fantastic power-play asset at the NHL level. At the risk of furthering a stereotype about Russian forwards, Goldobin’s main issues are off the puck. He needs to win more battles, gain strength and improve his defense.

From TSN.ca:

Excellent poise with puck and he can hold it to allow the play to develop. Handles puck in traffic very well and while he may not look like he's going fast, he plays fast yet not in a hurry. Takes advantage of what is given to him.

From EliteProspects.com:

Goldobin is a dangerous shooter with a wicked release on his wrist shot. He is quick and creative and can make defenders look foolish. He's weak against bigger opponents and can look lost in his own zone but is extremely dangerous and can quietly slide into prime scoring areas. (August 2013)

Also, importantly:

From FTF commenter and resident expert, milanahalek:

A highly skilled player whose all around game needs work but has the work ethic to get better.

I love this pick!

Seems like the Sharks are finally starting to buck their trend of "safe" picks and added a guy with great upside and offensive skill. Count me as cautiously optimistic about this pick.

Now to the highlights:

Other Round 1 notes:

  • Goldobin's agent is former Shark and Hall of Famer: Igor Larionov
  • There were still three high-ceiling players I was hoping would fall to 20: Kasperi Kapanen, Rober Fabbri, and Jared McCann. If the Sharks truly are "rebuilding," I would have been disappointed if they had traded down for another "safe" low-ceiling pick.
  • FTF's pick of Sonny Milano from the SBNation mock draft was grabbed at 16th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • One of biggest trades of the day came before the draft even started, when two of the Sharks division rivals made a swap. The Ducks recieved Ryan Kesler from the Canucks for Nick Bonino, Lucas Sbisa and the 24th pick.
  • The other blockbuster involved the Predators picking up James Neal, grabbing the goal scorer for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.
  • Rounds two through seven of the draft will be held tomorrow, starting bright and early at 7 am pacific (yuck!) on the NHL Network.
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