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Top 25 Under 25: Honorable Mentions

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Which five prospects nearly made our rankings?

North Bay Battalion Right Wing Brandon Coe (21) waits for a face-off during Ontario Hockey League action between the North Bay Battalion and Ottawa 67’s on December 1, 2019, at TD Place Arena in Ottawa, ON, Canada. Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The votes are in and finally counted, and tomorrow we’ll start counting down the top 25 San Jose Sharks prospects under 25 years old. Before we get to that though, I wanted to walk through the tallying process and look at the five prospects who almost made the cut.

This year, we had 62 total ballots cast. Each ranking position (1-25) was assigned a value, starting with 25 and descending (1=25 points, 2=24 points, 3=23 points, etc.). I tallied each player’s total votes at each position and multiplied it by the point value. The players were then ranked by their point totals.

There was one tie among the top 25 players; the players ranked at 10th and 11th overall both ended with 805 points. I used the total number of votes for each player as a tie-breaker. One received 57 votes, while the other received 47.

Of the 45 players included, every player received at least one vote and the fewest any one player received was 3 votes.

These five players almost made our rankings:

26. Danil Yurtaikin, LW/RW

The 23-year-old winger likely missed out due to his performance with the San Jose Barracuda last season, putting up up two goals and 15 assists in 37 games. Yutaikin is small and speedy, but just didn’t make enough noise in his first season in North America. He was close to making the tail end of this ranking — 36 people included him on their ballot (the most of anyone outside of the top 25), with an average score of 7.44, between 18th and 19th overall.

27. Brandon Coe, RW

This 2020 fourth-round selection has some fans among our readers, with two ballots ranking him as high as the fifth-best of the Sharks’ prospects. The majority of his votes came in, however, between 20th and 25th overall. Coe is a big body who might become a major steal as he builds more muscle and increases his stamina. The 18-year-old forward has plenty of time to show us what he can do, but nearly a point-per-game performance in last year’s OHL season has us excited.

28. Dillon Hamaliuk, LW

Drafted in the second round of the 2019 NHL Draft, Hamaliuk was coming off a year where a head injury limited him to just 31 games. Last year, he returned to a hair above his scoring pace from the season prior to his injury. The WHL forward might not have the ceiling of those who made the top 25, but he still might have NHL potential. Of the votes he did get, his average score was 8.04, around 18th overall.

29. Zachary Émond, G

Ranking goaltenders among skaters is never an easy task, but of the four Sharks goaltenders eligible, Émond ranked third. While perhaps there’s an argument for Émond over Josef Korenar, there’s a lot of inconsistency to Émond’s game and he had a rough 2019-20 campaign. While Korenar isn’t particularly exciting either, Émond may call to mind another inconsistent goaltender that Sharks fans have been hurt by. His highest ranking was 9th overall, so someone out there still has hope for the QMJHL netminder.

30. Nikolai Knyzhov, D

This 22-year-old Barracuda defender put up just five points over 33 AHL games last season. A stay-at-home defender, his game is one that won’t show up on the scoresheet and that makes him less exciting to talk about and harder to evaluate with the stats we have available at the AHL level. Making his NHL debut last season is encouraging for his development, but it’s easy to forget he played those three games, too. Just 20 people included the Russian one their ballots.