Last year, I debuted the concept of a visual roster history - an ancestry chart of all the roster moves that the Sharks have made that directly affected the current roster. It's easy enough to find information about player trades or signings, but draft pick trades? Or a series of trades? Pretty much impossible. Oh, the information is out there - otherwise I wouldn't be writing this article - but it's not in one brightly-colored family tree-esque graphic on your favorite Sharks blog (especially if your favorite Sharks blog is not this one).
And without further ado, here is the Roster Tree. Click on it for the full-size image (which is insanely big, so ye be warned, smart phone users and those with slow internet connections).
This chart only deals with the players that are listed on the Sharks' roster on the official site as of July 26, 2011. I did no speculation as to which players may or may not make the team (even if it's painfully obvious that they will not - hence why Thomas Greiss remains there). There are 25 players currently listed on the roster; 15 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 3 goalies.
In order to make the current team, the Sharks used 41 of their original draft picks - that is, the ones that are alloted to them by the NHL, not the ones they necessarily drafted players with. 2003 and 2005 are the most successful in this regard, each contributing 4 draft picks to the effort. 2000, 2001, and 2002 saw the Sharks strike out, with no draft picks that have helped the current team.
2000 and 2001 also haven't contributed in the trade aspect. Of the 54 trades that have happened to compose this roster, those years saw a big goose egg in long-term productive trades. The far and away winner in the trade front was 2003, with 11 trades that have affected this year's roster. Tied for second are 1995, 1997, and 1998 with 5 each.
Of the trades that are on the Tree, the Sharks have traded with the Panthers and Flyers the most with five trades each. Second-most are the Lightning and Red Wings with four trades each. The Sharks have not traded with seven current teams - the Dallas Stars, Phoenix Coyotes, Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, and Winnipeg Jets 2.0. However, the Sharks have traded with the Stars, Coyotes, Hurricanes, and Jets 2.0 when they were the North Stars, Jets 1.0, Whalers, and Thrashers respectively. Thus, the only teams that have not contributed to the current roster are the Kings, Oilers, and Capitals.
The earliest Sharks player to influence the roster is the Sharks's first ever draft pick, Pat Falloon (although an argument could be made for Bob McGill, who was chosen from Chicago in the expansion draft). Interestingly, Pat Falloon contributed to the acquisition of blog favorite Jamie McGinn. The most recent player to contribute to the roster is Zack Phillips, the 2011 1st rounder who was traded to the Minnesota Wild as part of the Brent Burns trade.
The Sharks are rather fond of trading draft picks - while 13 players on the roster were drafted by the Sharks, only two were drafted by picks that originally belonged to the Sharks: Patrick Marleau with the second overall pick in 1997, and Tommy Wingels with the 177th overall pick in 2008. The other 11 players were drafted with picks the Sharks traded for, usually as a trade up or part of some larger deal.
Historically, the Sharks have been known to be a team that doesn't tend to attract unrestricted free agents. While the current team does have 8 players signed from unrestricted free agency, there are only 13 total UFAs out of the 134 players that affect the current roster, supporting that assertion.
Each current roster player averaged 6.88 players in their lineage, and 2.88 trades per player. Among non-direct picks, Brent Burns had the highest percentage of original Sharks draft picks in his lineage, coming in at 62.5%. Among non-UFAs, Torrey Mitchell had the highest percentage of UFAs in his lineage, with 16.7%
Hot Potato of 1998
In 1998, the Sharks, Panthers, Lightning, and Predators decided that none of them wanted the first overall pick, and had a flurry of trades leading up to the 1998 entry draft in which the top two picks were both traded twice and the Sharks owned each of the top three picks at some point during that season. The Sharks ended up drafted Brad Stuart third overall, who was eventually traded for Joe Thornton.
Could-Have-Beens (Notable players drafted with picks the Sharks owned)
Lars Eller, David Legwand, Chris Pronger, Vincent Lecavalier, Jaroslav Spacek, Danny Briere, Jason Strudwick, Brad Richardson, Mathieu Carle, Marc Staal, and David Krejci.
The Sharks captain, fittingly, hast the longest and most complicated branch, one that is also littered with current and future Hall of Famers. 35 players comprise his branch, with 17 trades. However only 4 Sharks original draft picks were need to acquire him; the picks that later became Jason Strudwick, Joey Tetarenko, Rick Berry, and Chris Pronger. Chris Pronger is the only player that I'd might want to have over Joe Thornton, but of course, the branch that Chris Pronger leads into also spawns Martin Havlat and Dan Boyle.
Also, you can trace his line back to Igor Larionov. That's pretty awesome.
Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell contributed a majority of the assets to acquire the pick the Sharks eventually chose Logan Couture with. Enough said.
Last year, I posed the question of whether or not the Sharks would be better off with Devin Setoguchi or Marc Staal, as the pick that later became Marc Staal was traded for Setoguchi's pick. This year, now I must wonder: Brent Burns, or Marc Staal and Charlie Coyle?
As was evidenced last season, the Sharks needed defense and offense from their defense, which is what necessitated the Burns trade. And Brent Burns is an elite defenseman, a legitimate number one defenseman whose main issue with the Wild was trying to do too much. But Marc Staal is a great young shut-down defenseman; the thought of him paired with Marc-Edouard Vlasic in a young shut-down pairing gives me a warm feeling. And Charlie Coyle was one of the Sharks' few blue chip prospects (and an American, to boot).
So the question is whether the Sharks would rather have an amazing and cheap offensive defenseman right now, or a cheap defensive defenseman now and a good two-way second/first liner in the future.
Researching Jamie McGinn's roster heritage and finding out that the great Pat Falloon contributed to McGinn's acquisition is like finding out the class clown is a direct descendant of John Adams.
Originally, I believed that the seventh rounder used to pick Pavelski was the Sharks' own - instead, the Sharks traded their 6th in 2004 in order to select Pavelski. It's one of those small, almost unnoticeable moves that ended up paying off in a big way.
That the early Sharks contribute so much to the current roster says much about how the organization doesn't like assets to go to waste, and would rather make trades than lose players for nothing. Also, out of all the players that the Sharks could have had, there are a few that would be nice to have on the roster, but there haven't been any Milbury-like moments where there's a huge regret for a trade (except for perhaps the Chris Pronger one - darn you Chris Pronger!).