The silver lining of not making the playoffs for three straight seasons is that the organization will trend toward high draft picks to restock the draft pipeline. Once a month in “Keeping Up With The Pups,” we will check in on some San Jose Sharks prospects and how their seasons are going.
Since most prospects are just getting back to their teams and seasons are just getting started, this week is going to be a bit slimmer article than what you should expect every month.
Goaltender, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
2021 third-round pick
Ben Gaudreau posted a pretty solid season in Sarnia last season despite spending most nights under a barrage of shots from the opponent. Following an impressive rookie tournament, Gaudreau hung around the Sharks’ training camp before being sent back to juniors, where he was very impressive in his first two games — so impressive that he was named the OHL goaltender of the week.
OHL GOALTENDER OF THE WEEK has a nice ring to it don't you think?— Sarnia Sting (@StingHockey) October 3, 2022
Our boy @BenGaudreau03 is 2-0 with a 1.99 goals-against average and .907 save percentage
What a way to start the week #SwarmWarning pic.twitter.com/IzuiRsOmSZ
But against the Oshawa Generals, bad luck struck. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, after Gaudreau left the game thanks to a dirty hit from Tyler Savard.
Tyler Savard needs to be suspended for this. Looks up and sees Gaudreau and makes absolutely no attempt to do anything but crush him. Was not pushed in by the D in any way, he just sees an opportunity to destroy the goalie and takes it pic.twitter.com/McZkm4CyMj— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) October 10, 2022
Center, Linköping HC (SHL)
2022 first-round pick
Filip Bystedt was a bit of a head-scratcher for most Sharks fans when he was drafted at 27th overall in July’s draft, but the center is well on his way to proving why he was worth the first-round selection. He ranks first among SHL rookies in points (4) and is tied for second in the league in shots on goal. If Bystedt can make a career by scoring goals like this, Sharks fans will be very happy with the selection:
Filip Bystedt cleans up the rebound for his first goal of the season.— Locked on Sharks (@LockedOnSharks) September 17, 2022
Bystedt has also posted a solid 51.25 percent in the faceoff circle, with several of his draws having lead directly to goals.
Bystedt wins the draw and gets an assist.— Locked on Sharks (@LockedOnSharks) September 24, 2022
Don’t expect to see Bystedt in San Jose anytime soon, but it’s good to see that he is earning ice time in Sweden and making the most of his opportunities early in the season.
Right Wing, Northeastern University (NCAA)
2022 second-round pick
Cam Lund wowed fans at Sharks development camp with his quick hands and lightning shot. He was the only one of the college-bound picks from the 2022 draft to start in the NCAA this season. As a freshman, he is playing top-line minutes on the seventh-ranked Northeastern Huskies. In three games, he is already scoring at a point-per-game pace, including this snipe:
Cam Lund goal as the power play expires! pic.twitter.com/Vx2v3HBFup— Locked on Sharks (@LockedOnSharks) October 2, 2022
Lund also shows off his transition and puck abilities that lead to great chances for his teammates:
Forgot to clip it from yesterday https://t.co/ZkzVdFAetU pic.twitter.com/p3i9YZ9nXR— JD Young (Content Boi) (@MyFryHole) October 8, 2022
Same shift! Puck retrieval and skating to open up teammates for a great chance. pic.twitter.com/sDajfsiEKa— JD Young (Content Boi) (@MyFryHole) October 8, 2022
Prospects I’m keeping an eye on over the next month:
Ethan Cardwell, Barrie Colts (OHL): How does he respond to going back to Juniors? He is going to be one of the oldest players on his team and should be in a position to put up monster numbers on a solid Colts team.
Gannon Laroque, Victoria Royals (WHL)/Mattias Havelid, Linköping HC (SHL): Both blueliners have started the season on the shelf after dealing with injuries. I want to see them playing again and building off previous seasons. The Sharks need one, if not, both of these defenders to hit for different reasons.
Magnus Chrona, University of Denver (NCAA): The forgotten man in the Sharks’ goaltending pipeline needs to make a case for himself. How does he repeat his Championship-caliber performance going back to the top-ranked University of Denver team when every opponent is gunning for the champs?