With their final selection in the 2022 NHL Draft, the San Jose Sharks have selected their first-ever San Jose native in forward Reese Laubach. The 6-foot-0, 161-pound forward played AAA hockey with the San Jose Junior Sharks from 2016-17 until 2019-20. In 2018-19, he helped take the team all the way to the U15 Tier I national championships.
Over the last two seasons, Laubach has been playing with Northstar Christian Academy U18 AAA in Minnesota. In 100 games, he totaled 78 goals and 87 assists, a 1.65 points per game pace. He was personally recruited by head coach John Olver to join the Knights, which proved to be a boon for the program.
Listed generically as a forward, Laubach says he prefers to play center. In 2021, he was listed at 5-foot-9, which has since been updated to 6-foot-0. The extra size added to his wingspan and physicality will help to provide flexibility in his position.
Laubach told The Rink Live that he went to his first Sharks game at 3 or 4 years old and immediately requested that his father enroll him in hockey. He’s a true hometown story, inspired by the expansion Sharks to put on a pair of ice skates and work his way up through the ranks of AAA hockey to eventually get a call from Minnesota State University, Mankato, where he has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey next season, along with fellow 2022 seventh-round selection Cade Littler (219 overall, Calgary Flames).
For a seventh-round pick, his scoring talent is certainly cause for excitement for Minnesota State, but it remains to be seen how it will translate to the NHL-level yet. However, his work ethic is a quality that could easily be the difference-maker between a seventh-round success and a seventh-round bust.