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Sharks top 20 prospects

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  • Sharks top 20 prospects

    1. Alexander Chmelevski C/W, 20 - I should have just did a whole separate writeup on him, but oh well, here it is. The Sharks might have found something here. Still far from a sure thing, but I'd put his ceiling up against almost any top prospect in the league. Top scorer at Brick invitational in '09. Top scorer at Hlinka in '17. Second on Team USA in scoring at WJCs, but look at his TOI in each game there: 9:17, 13:06, 14:30, 15:31, 15:35, 12:04, 15:10. The way he took over the gold medal game with his team down two in the third period was something to behold. I can't help but think of a young Patrick Kane after that - a player who might be lazy and undisciplined at times, and doesn't always do all the little things away from the puck, but when he decides to turn it on, in the biggest moment, against the best players in the world at his age group, he was on a different level than everyone else.

    He led the 67s to the OHL Final, and fnished just behind Nick Suzuki in playoff p/g with 1.72, but - and this is crucial - while Guelph dominated the playoff scoring leaderboard with a dizzying array of high NHL draft picks including two seconds, three thirds and a fourth, Chmelevski's undrafted 19 year old linemates finished fourth and fifth in playoff scoring, and their two next highest scorers were also undrafted (although one isn't eligible until 2020).

    Chmelevski's stickhandling in tight spaces and at high speeds are elite. His hockey IQ, awareness and creativity are off the charts. Projects as a 17-20 minute winger who can drive a scoring line and powerplay, and make players around him better. NHL-ready 2020.

    2. Ivan Chekhovich LW, 20 - Another late 2017 pick with major offensive upside. Chekhovich is a high-end skater and goal-scorer. The difference between him and other late picks who post big numbers in junior at 19, is that Chekhovich has showed very well in two separate AHL stints, with nine points in six games at 18 and then four in five at 19. Projects as a goal-scoring winger who can be effective playing with skilled players, but probably won't be the driving force on a primary scoring line. NHL-ready 2021.

    3. Ryan Merkley D, 20 - The fact that he was a first round pick, finished second in OHL defensemen scoring, but wasn't even invited to Hockey Canada's selection camp is really troubling. There's still a lot of potential there but the Sharks have got to get him figured out ASAP. Upside is a 20-23 minute puck-moving defenseman and powerplay specialist. NHL-ready 2022.

    4. Dylan Gambrell C, 23 - Former second round pick was an upper echelon scorer through three NCAA seasons (age 19-21), then came into the AHL at 22 and was near a point per game as a rookie. Not eye-popping numbers, but suggests a player with a chance to be an impact forward in the NHL. Good bet he makes the team out of camp or at some point during this season.

    5. Josef Korenar G, 21 - Really intriguing undrafted prospect. A couple years ago he was one of only three U20 goalies in the top Czech league and his numbers were good. But he played most of his games that year for the worst team in the Czech2 league, and got absolutely shelled. While the team's other goalies were over 4.00 GAA and under .880 SVP, Korenas had a comparatively respectable 3.44 and .908. Apparently the trial by hellfire turbo-boosted his development, because the following year he came over to the AHL and was suddenly the second best 20 year old goalie in the league. No idea what his upside might be, but he has my full attention.

    6. Alexander True C, 22 - Another undrafted free-agent signing (there are a few on this list). After three uninspiring years in the WHL, True's first two AHL seasons have been about as good as you could hope for from a player in his situation. 28 points in 68 games as a 20 year old rookie, but then doubled that to 55 in 68 at 21. Pretty good chance he could end up a depth center and penalty-killer in the NHL, and his size makes him a potential net-front option on the the PP. Will compete with Gambrell for opportunities this season.

    7. Mario Ferraro D, 21 - A major offensive threat from the blueline in USHL at 18, then had a strong NCAA freshman campaign, but the 2017 second round pick took a step back last season. With Cale Makar playing most of every powerplay, there wasn't a lot of opportunities for other defensemen. At even strength Makar was paired with freshman Marc Del Gaizo, while Ferraro was used as a shutdown and penalty kill specialist. Projects as a 19-22 minute two-way defenseman and regular penalty killer.

    8. Artemi Knyazev D, 18 - An offensive defenseman. Pretty good numbers in the Q at 17.

    9. Dillon Hamaliuk LW, 18 - Both of the left wings ahead of him in Seattle are aging out, so he'll get every opportunity to showcase himself this year.

    10. John Leonard LW, 21 - Went through the draft twice before San Jose took him in the sixth round after an impressive freshman year at college. Took a good next step as a sophomore last year.

    11. Zachary Émond G, 19 - Went from a 3.26 GAA and .897 SVP in 24 games in the Q his draft year to 1.73 and .932 in 27 last season.

    12. Joachim Blichfeld W, 21 - The Sharks are one of a few teams that don't mind letting drafted players stay in major junior for their over-age season. Could not have paid off better than it did for Blichfeld, who went from 56 points in 56 games at 19, to 114 in 68 at 20.

    13. Karlis Cukste D, 22 - 6'4 defenseman who has gradually improved his scoring totals in his three NCAA seasons.

    14. Jonathan Dahlén LW, 21 - Could still be a good player, but the hype from after his +1 season has died down significantly.

    15. Lean Bergmann W, 20 - Another undrafted free agent, signed after a strong rookie season in the DEL.

    16. Jayden Halbgewachs LW, 22 - Another one who played over-age in junior. Put up 70 goals and 129 points in 72 games his over-age year. Had a decent rookie pro turn last year at 21. Problem is he's 5'8.

    17. Yegor Spiridonov C/W, 18

    18. Maxim Letunov C, 22 - Put up good numbers through his three NCAA seasons, but did lackluster numbers as a 22 year old AHL rookie.

    19. Noah Gregor C, 21

    20. Mike Robinson G, 22
    Last edited by matchesmalone; 09-12-2019, 03:27 AM.

  • #2
    Great list. Only one guy that I'd argue is missing, though his age (25) might be a limiting factor. He just came over to NA last season though.

    Antti Suomela

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    • #3
      Whoops, I meant to say 2021 NHL-ready for Merkley. If he's gonna make, 1.5 to two AHL years should be plenty.

      Haha yeah I took a good look at Suomela. Then decided I'm gonna use Calder eligibility - 26 games in a single season or six each in two separate seasons.:whistle:

      I just don't know how to deal with guys like that. At that point I feel like either you're gonna make it or you're not. Also I can then use analytics to assess the player, which kinda feels like cheating.

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