2022 NHL Draft: Sharks select Filip Bystedt with no. 27 pick

The Sharks traded down, picking up two extra selections to draft the Swedish center.

The San Jose Sharks headed into the 2022 NHL Draft with nine total selections, including the 11th overall pick, but without a second-round pick, thanks to a trade with the Arizona Coyotes to acquire goaltender Adin Hill.

Despite the rare chance to pick in the front third of the first round, and a number of talented players being available at 11th, Mike Grier and company decided to recoup some lost picks. Trading down in the first round, the Coyotes gave San Jose pick 27, as well as two second-round picks (Arizona’s own selection at 34th overall, and 45th overall, originally belonging to the New York Islanders).

In terms of recouping draft capital, it’s not a bad move, especially looking at a draft pick value model by The Athletic’s Dom Luszczyszyn, which indicates the 45th overall pick as excess value that the Sharks were able to secure.

Still, it was difficult to watch the draft board play out after that, as plenty of talent was passed over in the top 10. In what became an agonizingly long wait, the pick rolled in:

1. Montreal Canadiens — Juraj Slafkovsky, LW (FIN)
2. New Jersey Devils — Simon Nemec, D (SVK)
3. Arizona Coyotes  — Logan Cooley, C (USNTDP)
4. Seattle Kraken — Shane Wright, C (OHL)
5. Philadelphia Flyers — Cutter Gauthier, LW (USNTDP)
6. Columbus Blue Jackets (from CHI) — David Jiricek, D (CZE)
7. Chicago Blackhawks (from OTT) — Kevin Korchinski, D (WHL)
8. Detroit Red Wings — Marco Kasper, C (SWE)
9. Buffalo Sabres — Matthew Savoie, C (WHL)
10. Anaheim Ducks — Pavel Mintyukov, D (OHL)
11. Arizona Coyotes (from SJS) — Conor Geekie, C (WHL)
12. Columbus Blue Jackets — Denton Mateychuk, D (WHL)
13. Chicago Blackhawks (from NYI via MTL) — Frank Nazar, C (USNTDP)
14. Winnipeg Jets — Rutger McGroarty, RW (USNTDP)
15. Vancouver Canucks — Jonathan Lekkerimaki, RW (SWE)
16. Buffalo Sabres (from VGK) — Noah Ostlund, C (SWE)
17. Nashville Predators — Joakim Kemell, KW (FIN)
18. Dallas Stars — Lian Bichsel, D (SWE)
19. Minnesota Wild (from LAK) — Liam Ohgren, LW (SWE)
20. Washington Capitals — Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW (RUS)
21. Pittsburgh Penguins — Owen Pickering, D (WHL)
22. Anaheim Ducks (from BOS) — Nathan Gaucher, C (QMJHL)
23. St. Louis Blues — Jimmy Snuggerud, RW (USNTDP)
24. Minnesota Wild — Danila Yurov, RW (RUS)
25. Chicago Blackhawks (from TML) — Sam Rinzel, D (HS-MN)
26. Montreal Canadiens (from CGY) — Filip Mesar, RW (SVK)

Finally, with the 27th overall selection, the Sharks drafted center Filip Bystedt from Linköping HC of the Swedish Hockey League.

While I had hoped the team would target a center, Bystedt was not one on my radar. He was largely projected as a second-round pick, though it wasn’t exactly agreed upon if he would be early in the second or practically the third round. Still, if this was a player the Sharks were dead set on, it was unlikely they’d get him without acquiring second-round picks. But then they did acquire second-round picks, and still reached for Bystedt with the first-rounder.

Why makes Bystedt so irresistible?

His most noticeable quality is probably that he’s large. At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Bystedt is grown physically, having made his debut in the top-tier Swedish men’s league for one game in the 2020-21 season, and reappearing for another 15 games last season. Mostly, however, he’s played with the J20 juniors squad in Linköping over the last two seasons, totaling 61 points (21 goals, 40 assists) in 55 games.

Bystedt’s 49 points last season lead his team and ranked 20th overall in the league. There’s offensive talent that seems reliable, if not as flashy or high-ceiling as some other prospects.

He’s able to pull that off despite being described most of the time as a fairly average skater. The Swede is built like a tree and skates like it, and yet, he plays a strong, simple and effective game.

At 27th overall, a draft pick is probably going to be a project player and Bystedt is no exception.

His skating undoubtably will need to improve, but if the Sharks are lucky, by doing so, Bystedt could become more of a power-forward. Right now, his size is only an advantage in the sense that it is a thing that he has that cannot be taken away from him. But he still needs to learn physicality and confidence in his size and stride to take his game to the next level.

The Sharks will now have two picks tomorrow morning when Day 2 of the draft kicks off with the second round.