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The Daily Chum: Where the Sharks most need to upgrade in the 2017 draft

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With the draft lottery in the books, let’s take a (quick) look at San Jose’s organizational depth.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils won the 2017 NHL Draft Lottery, the Kings moved down a slot and the Sharks (unaffected by the whole thing) will pick No. 21. So where does Team Teal most need to upgrade with their seven picks in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft? Great question!

This is subject to change depending on who San Jose loses to Las Vegas in the upcoming expansion draft, but let’s take a look at the Sharks’ organizational depth to best answer that question. I’ll look at players under contract and RFAs when considering San Jose’s depth at each position. As always, your mileage may vary.

Center (10, 9 pro)

Logan Couture (NHL)

Tomas Hertl (NHL)

Chris Tierney (NHL, RFA)

Danny O’Regan (AHL)

Rourke Chartier (AHL)

Tim Clifton (AHL)

Ryan Carpenter (AHL, RFA)

Jon Martin (AHL)

Maxim Letunov (NCAA)

Left Wing (8, 7 pro)

Joe Pavelski (NHL)

Mikkel Boedker (NHL)

Noah Rod (AHL)

Adam Helewka (AHL)

Marcus Sorensen (AHL, RFA)

Nikita Jevpalovs (AHL, RFA)

Rudolfs Balcers (WHL)

Right Wing (12, 8 pro)

Jannik Hansen (NHL)

Timo Meier (NHL)

Kevin Labanc (NHL)

Joel Ward (NHL)

Joonas Donskoi (NHL, RFA)

Melker Karlsson (NHL, RFA)

Alex Schoenborn (AHL)

Barclay Goodrow (AHL, RFA)

Dylan Gambrell (NCAA)

Noah Gregor (WHL)

Manuel Wiederer (QMJHL)

Joachim Blichfeld (WHL)

Defense (17, 13 pro)

Brent Burns (NHL)

Marc-Edouard Vlasic (NHL)

Paul Martin (NHL)

Justin Braun (NHL)

David Schlemko (NHL)

Brenden Dillon (NHL)

Dylan DeMelo (NHL)

Mirco Mueller (AHL, RFA)

Joakim Ryan (AHL, RFA)

Jeremy Roy (AHL)

Julius Bergman (AHL)

Cavan Fitzgerald (AHL)

Nick DeSimone (AHL)

Mark Shoemaker (OHL)

Karlis Cukste (NCAA)

Adam Parsells (NCAA)

Goalies (7, 4 pro)

Martin Jones (NHL)

Aaron Dell (NHL)

Troy Grosenick (AHL, RFA)

Mantas Armalis (AHL, RFA)

Marcus Vela (NCAA)

Jake Kupsky (NCAA)

Mike Robinson (NCAA)

The differentiation between left wing and right wing notwithstanding, the Sharks have a pretty balanced roster. That is, until you look at their stable of non-professional prospects. San Jose has six forwards, four defenders and three goaltenders outside of the NHL and AHL ranks right now.

It’s also worth noting some of the players on my fake depth chart are restricted free agents and likely won’t be retained, so these lists will get a bit thinner. With all those caveats in mind... where do the Sharks stand? It’s a bit of an interesting time for Doug Wilson as many of San Jose’s prospects graduate from junior to the AHL. The Sharks have their first-round pick, but then a long gap until the fourth round.

That means Wilson might draft for need in the first round (or at least, keep need in mind) but by the time those late picks roll around it’ll be all about best available. Probably. I hope. Go find those gems, Douglas.

The Sharks look okay in both the defensive and goaltending department right now, so I’ve gotta think they look for more scoring. I’ve seen a few different players listed here from the boy-wouldn’t-that-be-nice (Nick Suzuki) to the slightly more realistic (Kristian Vesalainen). I’m also a big fan of Kailer Yamamoto, but at 5’7” I’m wary of the Sharks using a pick on a guy that may not end up being valued highly enough in the organization to get a fair shake.

So what do you think? What position do you think the Sharks should go after in the upcoming draft?


What position should the Sharks upgrade in the 2017 draft?

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As an aside, this is my last Daily Chum (and last day) with Fear the Fin as I’ll be stepping aside. Thanks to everyone who’s followed along for the past couple of years — you’ll be in good hands with Marcus until a permanent replacement is named. Go Sharks!