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Sharks Make Five Selections at 2016 Draft

With the San Jose Sharks not making their first pick until the very end of the second round at the 60th position fans should have known that this year’s draft class was obviously not going to be the sexiest when compared with recent drafts. The Sharks to their credit did manage to find some quality but not without making many people scratch their heads to get the party started. The Sharks surprised me by going hard after centers in this draft when I thought they would be more interested in a defenseman.  They also dipped a bit into the over-age pool of prospects. Overall I give the Sharks draft a C, it wasn’t terrible but I don’t think it was particularly great either. Here is the Sharks 2016 draft class with my thoughts on what they bring to the system.

2nd Round, #60 – Dylan Gambrell Univ. of Denver (NCHC – NCAA)
Position: Center Shoots: Right Height: 5’11” Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: August 26, 1996, in Bonney Lake, Washington, United States
Dylan Gambrell is an extremely hard working big hard hitting forward who can skate. A pass-first center who had a breakout rookie year with the University of Denver amassing 17 goals and 30 assists for 47 points in 41 games played.  He is a great passer and a tenacious forechecker who does not rattle easily at all.  There is a lot to like in this guy who could end up peaking as a second line center or could fill a good energy role in the bottom six. To me, this is a pretty safe pick I think that Gambrell will definitely be an NHL player but does not have the upside of players available at this point in the draft.

The downside to this pick is this is a player who is turning 20 this August which means he has been passed over in the draft twice already and would have very likely been available far later in the draft and likely could have been taken with the 111th. or 150th. pick.  This is a massive reach that I frankly don’t understand for the Sharks.  Again I like the player I just don’t like him at 60th overall, far better players left on the board.

Ian’s Grade: C-

Ian’s Projection: Bottom Nine Play Making Center

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 4th Round, #111 – Noah Gregor  Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
Position: Center Shoots: Left Height: 6’0″ Weight: 180 lbs.
Born: January 28, 1998, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Ian’s Thoughts: After feeling pretty salty with the Sharks 2nd round pick they regained my attention with the excellent pick of Noah Gregor was a player that surprised me that he was even available. Gregor is a strong two-way center who scored 28 goals, 45 assists for 73 points with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL in 72 games. He can play the game at a high speed with his excellent acceleration and has no problems going to the “dirty” areas of the ice.  He plays an excellent 200 ft game and does not get enough recognition for his play in his own zone. Sharks fans will love Noah Gregor.

Gregor was probably overlooked after he missed the bulk of the 2014-15 season with a broken collarbone which probably had him sliding down the board a little bit, he also sometimes needs to make better choices on when to shoot and when to pass.

This is what Warriors head coach Tim Hunter had to say about Gregor’s recovery:

“If you compare the ice time that [Brett] Howden had compared to him – and Howden was at the U18 world championships, at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, so lots of hockey – and Gregor missed almost a whole year and to be caught up and have had a real good year is impressive. And that’s a testament to him putting a lot of time in when he was hurt and then when he was healthy more time and hard work all summer.”

Ian’s Grade: A+

Ian’s Projection: Middle Six Two-Way Forward

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 5th Round, #150 – Manuel Wiederer  Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
Position: Center Shoots: Right Height: 6’0″ Weight: 174 lbs.
Born:  November 21, 1996, in Deggendorf, Germany
Ian’s Thoughts: Another over age selection by the Sharks but this is one that I’ll give them a pass on.  Wiederer was playing in obscurity over in the German Elite League ranks (DEL) before he made the jump to the QMJHL where he exploded with 29 goals and 35 assists in 54 games.  Now the pessimist in me says that maybe we shouldn’t get too excited since he went from playing with adults to teenagers and found an offensive spark and he also plays on a line with the very gifted Conor Garland.  However when your drafting this late these are the gambles you’re allowed to take.

Wiederer is another excellent skater to can play the game at a high speed and good stick handling that can make him a nightmare for defenders.  He has excellent vision which allows him to always seem to be in the right position.  This could also be a case of a European who is just better suited to play the North American game.  His game is pretty well rounded with no real weakness although his defensive game could use some work

Ian’s Grade: C+

Ian’s Projection: Bottom Nine Offensive Forward

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6th Round, #180 – Mark Shoemaker  North Bay Battalion (OHL)
Position: Defenceman Shoots: Right Height: 6’2″ Weight: 209 lbs.
Born: September 28, 1997, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Ian’s Thoughts: Doug Wilson did me a solid and drafted a player I’ll be able to watch with my own eyes.  Shoemaker is your typical shutdown defenceman who missed being a 2015 eligible player by weeks. While he is very solid in his own end and in my opinion an average skater.  He is a good hitter who can separate players from the puck and made has a decent first pass.  There is nothing overly exceptional about his game he excels when he goes unnoticed.

Ian’s Grade: C

Ian’s Projection: Bottom Pair Defensive Defenseman.

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joachim_blichfeld_malmo

 7th Round, #210 – Joachim Blichfeld  Malmö Redhawks (SEL)
Position: Shoots: Height: Weight:
Born: July 17, 1998, in Frederikshavn, Denmark
Ian’s Thoughts: Full disclosure I don’t know very much about this guy but there is a lot to like about this pick.  He is a 17-year-old who is playing in the J20 (Under 20)  Malmö Redhawks program instead of the J18 (under 18 program) which means that he is one of the youngest players in the league and yet still managed to put up 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 45 games which was third on his club team.  He has represented his home country of Denmark in the IIHF U-18 where he scored 12 goals and had 3 assists.  I unfortunately, can’t tell you much about his play style or what Shark fans can expect from this player but it could end up being a sneaky good pick with the second last pick in the draft.

Ian’s Grade: N/A

Ian’s Projection: N/A

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Don’t forget to tune into the Pucknology Writers Room tonight on YouTube where we will discuss all the picks as well as take your questions!

About Ian Reid

Ian is the Director of Content for Pucknology. He is a lifelong Sharks fan based in Canada. In three short years Ian has come a long way starting from his own blogspot and going on to write for RSENReport.com, Last Word on Hockey before settling in at Pucknology. You can also find Ian's work as a contributor at FearTheFin.com. On the podcast side of things he was a co-host of the now defunct Teal Tinted Glasses podcast as well as a regular on Pucknology After Dark and host of the Pucknology Writers Room.

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