Wilson Jr. and Burke talk Kniasev, Hamaliuk and more

VANCOUVER — The San Jose Sharks started the second day of the 2019 NHL Draft with five draft picks, and after five trades, ended up with...five draft picks. Their first-round draft pick was traded for Evander Kane last year.

Here’s a summary of Doug Wilson’s maze of moves:

After the draft, Doug Wilson Jr. and Tim Burke talked about San Jose’s newest prospects. None are ruled out for next week’s development camp:

Artemi Kniazev

Kniazev says that Sharks contacted him before draft, so he wasn’t surprised to be selected by San Jose. It also happens that Erik Karlsson is his favorite player.

Kniazev, on what he admires about Karlsson:

Karlsson is my favorite player. I watch a lot of his games with [Sharks prospect and Chicoutimi Saguenéens teammate, Vladislav] Kotkov.

I think we play the same style. He likes to play with the puck, create scoring chances. I like it too.

Burke, on Kniasev:

He’s an elite skater. He’s thick, he’s not tall, but he’s stocky.

A leader too. A kid who came over to a team who thought he’d never come. His English is good.

Dillon Hamaliuk

Wilson Jr. said the organization had both Kniazev and Hamaliuk as first-round grade talents on their board.

Wilson Jr., on Hamaliuk’s knee injury and potential:

We were fortunate. He was cleared in June. He played in Seattle last year. Roy Sommer’s son, Caston, was an assistant coach there.

He was kind of the guy in this year’s draft that nobody wanted to talk about because everybody kind of wanted him. We were trying to figure out where to take him.

He’s a 6-foot-4 power forward who can skate, enters the zone with possession. He just got traded to Kelowna, who’s hosting the Memorial Cup this year. He’ll play under Adam Foote.

Yegor Spiridonov

Spiridonov (via translator), on his excitement to join Sharks:

He’s so excited to join a juggernaut like San Jose.

Spiridonov (via translator), on how he’d describe his game:

He’s a two-way hockey player. He’s good on the power play and penalty kill. He can fit into any situation that the coach would want.

Spiridonov (via translator), on who he models his game after:

On the Sharks, he’s always been a big fan of Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton. Not on the Sharks, he’s a huge fan of Ryan O’Reilly. Models his game after O’Reilly.

Spiridonov (via translator), on his KHL contract:

His contract runs through 2021. At which point, he’ll be joining the San Jose Sharks in any capacity that they would have him.

Timur Ibragimov

Wilson, on under-the-radar pick Ibragimov (pronounced E-breg-gim-ov):

This is a guy that we’re excited about. Elite speed & hands. Was 5-foot-10, huge growth spurt this year, he’s 6-foot-2 now.

You talk about the kids with the speed and the hands to have some deception, and he grew four inches.

Got some power forward qualities.

Santeri Hatakka

Burke, on Hatakka:

Fast guy. A lot of speed.

A guy who played a lot of minutes. Really solid player.

Wilson Jr., on Hattaka and Kniazev:

Kniazev and Hattaka were two of the top-three or four skating defensemen in this draft.

Wilson Jr., on trading Francis Perron to move up to select Hattaka:

We signed a lot of European FA forwards. You want to give a chance to Gambrell & them. Francis needs waivers. He’s going to get a chance with Vancouver. We saw a chance to move up and get a D with elite feet.

Special Thanks

I wanted to close my draft coverage by thanking SMWW for hosting me at their annual NHL Draft Career Conference. With speakers like Ken Holland, Mike Johnston, E.J. Hradek, Rick Curran, Patrick Burke and George Parros, it was a fascinating conference, well worth the visit! Check them out next year in Montreal!