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Trade Reaction: Sharks add another intriguing prospect in Maxim Letunov

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Maxim Letunov skates for the University of Connecticut Huskies
University of Connecticut

The first trade of the Sharks’ offseason is an interesting one. San Jose acquired Maxim Letunov from the Arizona Coyotes for their 2016 fourth round draft pick (111th) and a 2017 third round draft pick. The Sharks also picked up the Coyotes’ 2017 sixth round draft pick.

Let’s first sort out the picks. This trade leaves San Jose with five draft picks in the 2016 draft. They currently have their own second, the Rangers’ fourth and their own fifth, sixth and seventh. In 2017, the Sharks currently hold all of their own picks with the exception of their third. Additionally, San Jose has Arizona’s sixth round pick and Chicago’s seventh round pick.

To Arizona

San Jose’s 2016 fourth round pick

San Jose’s 2017 third round pick

To San Jose

Arizona’s 2017 sixth round pick

Maxim Letunov (20 years old)

This seems like a real good trade for the Sharks, who add an established prospect in exchange for relatively low-success draft picks. This might say more about me than the trade itself, but I like Wilson’s thought process here. Getting a (relatively) known quantity for a pair of big question marks seems like a smart move, so long as the Sharks scouting of Letunov is good.

Here’s what our friends at SBN College Hockey had to say about the center.

Letunov was a skilled but slight and skinny prospect when the Blues selected him two years ago. After spending an extra year in the USHL, Letunov came into the NCAA ranks this year much stronger and made an immediate impact, scoring 16-24-40 in his rookie season behind only first round picks Kyle Connor,Brock Boeser, Colin White, and 2016 Draft eligible Dylan Gambrell.

Letunov's added muscle has made him stronger on his skates and better able to fight through traffic, allowing him to use his offensive skills better. He's got the ability to turn a bad pass into a good pass with excellent body control and does a nice job using lateral movement to create space for himself in the offensive zone. He's also really improved his wrist shot in recent years, giving him a deadly scoring weapon.

Letunov was originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round of the 2014 draft. He’s expected to play his sophomore season with the Huskies.