Ian Reid’s San Jose Sharks Prospect Guide: Part 2
- Updated: September 11, 2015
Welcome to part two of my San Jose Sharks Prospect Guide. In this article I’ll rank prospects between 11 and 20 as well as tell you where to watch them play this coming season if you missed part 1 you can find it HERE. For the purpose of who is a prospect I’ll be including any player who is waiver exempt, on an Entry Level Contract and has played less than a full NHL season (82 Games). So while Chris Tierney and Barclay Goodrow make the cut, Tomas Hertl, Matt Nieto, Matt Tennyson and Melker Karlsson do not fit all the criteria.
#11) Barclay Goodrow – RW
Draft Year: N/A, Signed as a free agent in 2014.
Some are probably wondering why I’d rank a guy who played 60 games for the Sharks last year so low in my Sharks prospect list. The reason is that Goodrow was a great bottom six player for the Sharks but I don’t think he will ever be any more than a very good third or fourth line player, and there is nothing wrong with that as depth wins championships. He will never be a big goal scorer at the NHL level but if he continues to get better at using his size along the boards he will have no trouble staying in the NHL a long time.
Where to watch him: San Jose Barracuda (AHL) – 75%, San Jose Sharks (NHL) – 25%
Why: The addition of Joel Ward and potential return of Raffi Torres may push Goodrow out of the Sharks line up and back to the Barracuda as he would be protected from waivers until needed as an injury call up.
#12) Dan O’Regan – C / LW
Draft Year: 2012 (5th round, 138th overall)
O’Regan may be the best play maker of all Sharks Prospects with the exception of Chris Tierney however his size (5’9″ tall) may limit his ability to play centre at the NHL level especially in the Pacific Division. He carries the puck well especially under pressure and has a good but not great shot. He could make it as an NHL centre but I feel his best chances to excel in the NHL would be at left wing where he could very well develop into a top line player but like Rourke Chartier I feel he probably has a 2nd line ceiling.
Where to watch him: Boston University (NCAA) – 100%
Why: I have heard no news about him going pro and I’m not sure why he’d leave the NCAA just to play in the AHL.
#13) Dylan Sadowy – LW
Draft Year: 2014 (3rd round, 81st overall)
Dylan Sadowy was far and away the best player on the Saginaw Spirit last year leading them to the playoffs, setting a record for the youngest team to ever make the OHL Playoffs. I have lost a little bit of excitement over Sadowy though because I was not a big fan of his Team Canada summer showcase and I think he really hurt his chances of representing Canada at the World Junior Championships. This all being said he is an excellent workhorse and very capable two way player with excellent penalty killing skills. With a solid showing in the OHL this fall he could definitely find himself in the conversation to be on Team Canada after Christmas.
Where to watch him: Saginaw Spirit (OHL) – 100%
Why: Not eligible for the Barracuda and not ready to make the jump to the NHL.
#14) Michael Brodzinski – D
Draft Year: 2013 (5th Round, 141st. overall)
Michael Brodzinski has high end offencive upside from the blue line the question is will his defencive game ever catch up. He possesses hard accurate shot and great play making ability in the offencive zone. The issues he faces is less than stellar decision making in the defencive end of the ice a small stature and a bit of a log jam for bottom four defenceman work against him. There is a ton of potential here I’m just not sure he finds is.
Where to watch him: University of Minnesota (NCAA) – 100%
Why: Has made no indications about turning pro at this time.
#15) Kevin Lebanc – LW
Draft Year: 2014 (6th round, 171st overall)
Kevin Labanc is coming off a huge season playing with the Barrie Colts scoring 107 pts. Now this does not always translate to big numbers in the NHL and as with many prospects he does have some skating issues but he has shown signs that his game could translate to the NHL level.
Where to watch him: Barrie Colts (OHL) – 100%
Why: Not ready for the jump to the NHL not eligible for the Barracuda.
#16) Noah Rod C / LW
Draft Year: 2014 (2nd round, 53rd overall)
Noah Rod has always been an interesting Sharks prospect to me, while I don’t think he possesses any high end scoring ability he is a tenacious fore checker how makes big hits in both zones. The thing I like most about Rod is that he is very good at choosing his spots and is almost never a defencive liability. Noah Rod is one of those guys that every team should have in the room because his effort keeps those around him honest. I was disappointed to learn he would not be at camp this year though opting to stay in Eroupe for the start of the Swiss elite league season. I do look forward to seeing him at the World Junior Championships.
Where to watch him: Genève-Servette HC (NLA) – 100%
Why: My understanding is he has little interest in playing in the AHL and opted not to miss the start of the NLA season with NHL training camp.
#17) Rudolfs Balcers – LW
Draft Year: 2015 (5th round, 142nd overall)
When it comes to Sharks prospects Balcers is a project, but scouts in Europe seem pretty high on him because of his skating ability, puck handling skills and scoring touch. The reason he is a project is because his hockey IQ isn’t considered to be very high. It’s going to be a lot of work to get him to the level that most think he posesses but for a 5th round pick you can’t really complain about a project such as this.
Where to watch: Stavanger Oilers (Norwegian Elite League) – 100$
Why: His plan is to play one more year before making the jump to transition into the North American game with the Barracuda.
#18) Patrick McNally – D
Draft Year: 2010 (4th Round, 115th overall)
McNally was picked up from the Vancouver Canucks for a 7th round selection and this may end up being a very nice pick up for basically nothing. With him being finished at Harvard its time for him to make the jump to pro where I think he could have a bright future. For now this offencively gifted defenceman could find himself in the top 4 of the Barracuda defence corps with plenty of power play time as he adjusts to the speed of the AHL game. I would not be shocked to see McNally on the Sharks blue line within the next 3 years.
Where to watch: San Jose Barracuda (AHL) – 100%
Why: I think he is going to be an important part of the Barracuda defence corps and would be a long shot to slide into the 6th defenceman position while the Sharks won’t waste him in the press box as a 7th defenceman.
#19) Adam Helewka – LW
Draft Year: 2015 (4th round, 106th overall)
I though the Sharks adding Helewka to their prospect pool was a sneaky good move for San Jose at this last years draft. After being passed over in the draft a couple of years in a row Helewka broke out to with a career year in the WHL leading the Spokane Chiefs in scoring last season. This pick is definitely off the board and may have been available later in the draft but I like that the Sharks took a chance on him. I’m looking forward to watching him make the jump to the AHL in 2016. In my opinion this is a 3rd line player with possible upside in the NHL.
#20) Jake Kupsky – G
Draft Year: 2015 (7th round, 193rd overall)
I’m not going to lie if there is one place the Sharks prospect pool is severely lacking it’s in goal. So what makes Jake Kupsky special to me? The first thing is his size, standing at 6’5″ he fits the mold of many of the most successful goalies in the game today. It’s more than just his side though here is a guy who in an arguably small sample size had a decent regular season in the NAHL playing for the Lone Star Brahmas putting up a respectable 2.16 GAA with a .911 SV% but he improved that in the playoffs with a 1.86 GAA and a .930 SV %. When is the last time we have seen a goalie do that in a Sharks sweater. Kupsky as a long way to go but I do look forward to following his exploits with Union College in the NCAA. Your last question is probably what 7th round pick goalie has actually turned out? The answer is a few scrubs like Pekka Rinne, Henrick Lundvquist, Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot.
Where to watch him: Union College (NCAA) – 100%
Why: Already committed to the program and doing anything else would end his NCAA eligibility.