Top 25 Sharks Under 25: 2023 edition
Time for the annual player poll, where the Fear the Fin community helps us rank the Sharks' Top 25 prospects.
What a difference a year makes.
One year after we ran our previous Top 25 Sharks under the age of 25 and there are new names, new faces and possibly, a new number one.
For those of you that missed out on last season's poll, let's recap:
- Mario Ferraro (Mario Ferraro Takes Our No. 1 Spot 2022)
- William Eklund (No. 2 William Eklund A New Hope 2022)
- Jonathan Dahlen (No. 3 Jonathan Dahlen Is Back On Track 2022) - Did not receive a qualifying offer; now playing in Sweden.
- Rudolfs Balcers (No. 4 Rudolfs Balcers Was Meant To Be) - Bought out in the 2022 offseason; signed with the Florida Panthers at the start of the 2022-23 season. Then, picked up off waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 12, 2022.
- Ryan Merkley (No. 5 Ryan Merkley Is On "Prove It" Watch) - Requested a trade in early January 2023; was traded with Matt Nieto to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Martin Kaut and Jacob MacDonald later in the month.
- Jasper Weatherby (No. 6 Jasper Weatherby Is A New Fan Favorite) - Traded to the Detroit Red Wings for Kyle Criscuolo.
- Nikolai Knyzhov* (No. 7 Nikolai Knyzhov Has Big Summer Ahead)
- Thomas Bordeleau (No. 8 Thomas Bordeleau Is Ready For The Show)
- Noah Gregor* (No. 9 Noah Gregor Is Set To Take The Next Step)
- Ozzy Wiesblatt (No. 10 Ozzy Wiesblatt Flies Under The Radar)
- Tristen Robins (No. 11 Tristen Robins Already Brings Wealth Of Experience)
- Brandon Coe (No. 12 Brandon Coe Had A Breakout Year)
- Jayden Halbgewachs (No. 13 Jayden Halbgewachs Needs To Out-Play His Size) - If he were still with the Sharks, Halbgewachs would have aged out. However, he was not resigned last offseason and played in Sweden this past season.
- Nick Merkley (Can No. 14 Nick Merkley Break Through?) - In March 2022, Merkley was traded to the New York Rangers for Anthony Bitetto. Bitetto was not resigned in the offseason. Nick Merkley played in the KHL this past season.
- Nicolas Meloche (No. 15 Nicolas Meloche, A D-Corps Mainstay?) - Was not resigned in the offseason; Meloche signed with the Calgary Flames in July 2022.
- Daniil Gushchin (No. 16 Daniil Gushchin Is On Fire)
- Jeffrey Viel* (No. 17 Jeffrey Viel Adds Sandpaper)
- Santeri Hatakka (No. 18 Santeri Hatakka Is A Defensive Diamond In The Rough) - Hatakka was one of the pieces San Jose sent to the New Jersey Devils in the Timo Meier deal.
- John Leonard (No. 19 John Leonard's Upside Isn't Fully Realized, Yet) - Leonard would have aged out if he were still in San Jose, but instead, he was traded in July 2022 for Luke Kunin.
- Artemi Knaizev (No. 20 Artemi Knaizev Is Making Up For Lost Time)
- Scott Reedy (No. 21 Scott Reedy Has Room To Develop) - Reedy was traded to the Dallas Stars before this year's trade deadline in exchange for Jacob Peterson.
- Adam Raska - (No. 22 Adam Raska Is A Wrecking Ball)
- Benjamin Gaudreau - (No. 23 Benjamin Gaudreau Could Be A Franchise Goaltender)
- Zachary Sawchenko (No. 24 Zach Sawchenko Is Playing For A New Contract) - Sawchenko never had a shot at that next contract with the Sharks. He was allowed to walk in the offseason and signed with the Carolina Hurricanes.
- Lane Pederson - (No. 25 Lane Pederson Is Carving His Own Path) - Pederson would have aged out if he were still with the Sharks, but he was one of the pieces that went to Carolina in the Brent Burns deal that brought Steven Lorentz and Eetu Makiniemi to San Jose.
Of the names on this list, only half (13) are still with the team. Three aged out - Noah Gregor, Nikolai Knyzhov and Jeffrey Viel. The rest may see their positions shift or may even fall off the list given all of the new, young faces General Manager Mike Grier has brought to San Jose and that's before the 2023 NHL Draft and Free Agency starts.
So here's your assignment Sharks fans. Below is a list of San Jose's prospects in no particular order. Your job is to rank them 1 through 25 with 1 being the top prospect. I've included one option for this year's first-round draft pick even though we don't know who it will be yet just to see how fans are feeling.
(If the form below doesn't work, you can link to the Google Form here.)
We'll run this poll until May 21.