Historically the San Jose Sharks
trade for their top players rather than draft the highest ranked prospects
. With a fairly weak NHL
draft this year, not much has changed. In addition, the Sharks' development program is ranked very close to the bottom of the league, so new blood will be hard to come by.
The Sharks do, however, have two upcoming prospects
that are garnering some buzz in San Jose
At 26, goalkeeper Alex Stalock
isn't technically a rookie since he has been earning his keep with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose
's AHL affiliate. Czech center Tomas Hertl
was selected 17th overall in 2012, making him the first top twenty, first round pick since Logan Couture in 2007.
The Sharks drafted Stalock 112th in the fourth round in 2005 when he was only 18 years old. He played three years for the University of Minnesota-Duluth before joining the the Worcester Sharks. He had a successful first year, posting 39-19-2 in 61 games, but suffered a sliced nerve behind his knee halfway through his second season, resulting in him only playing 11 games the following year. (stats courtesy of Hockey
's Future and NHL
At 6'0 and 185 lbs., Stalock plays as though he's 6'4. Along with his athleticism and quick reflexes, he is known for making big saves and possessing strong puck handling skills. The Sharks showed their confidence in him this past season when they twice called him up to back up starting goalkeeper, Antti Niemi
. Over the summer, they signed him to a one-year, two-way contract.
The Sharks have a vacancy in the #2 goaltender position and Stalock will likely go into training camp ready to compete with another goaltender prospect, Harri Sateri
took Tomas Hertl 17th in the 2012 NHL
Draft. It is no surprise that the front office is looking to develop their young players as they look towards the future of the franchise. Should Hertl make the squad this year, he would likely replace TJ Galiardi, who was traded to the Calgary Flames in June.
In his first professional season with his hometown team HC Slavia Praha, Hertl's exceptional performance piqued the interest of Sharks GM Doug Wilson
. The Czech Republic native led the team with 18 goals and 30 points in 43 games despite being only 19 years old. Hertl is an impressive playmaker and will likely make the opening day roster with the Sharks in need of a boost in offense. The 6'2 200 lb. Hertl is also no shrinking violet on defense and possesses the physical game to match his offensive capabilities.
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Tags: Alex Stalock
, Antti Niemi
, Doug Wilson
, Harri Sateri
, Logan Couture
, San Jose
, San Jose Sharks
, Tomas Hertl