A look into the 2013 SJ Sharks Draft

Analyzing the 2013 San Jose Sharks Draft Selections
By Matt Alber
Hey Sharks fans, Worcester Sharks intern Matt Alber here. I’m going to be taking a look at the San Jose Sharks draft picks from the 2013 NHL draft. Last season, there were 13 former San Jose draft picks that spent time in Worcester. Although it is unlikely that any of these draft picks spend much time in Worcester this year, fans can look forward to seeing these prospects play at the DCU Center down the road.
The Sharks had four selections in the first two rounds just prior to the draft. However, they sent one to the Detroit Red Wings in order to trade up in the first round. In addition, San Jose traded another second round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins for forward Tyler Kennedy. When it was all said and done, the Sharks made seven picks in the draft.
I decided to give my take on the draft selections this year. I also compared the style of play of each draft pick to a current NHL player so fans can get a better idea of how each of these guys are likely to play when they get to Worcester.
Mirco Mueller- Defenseman, 1st round- 18th overall
Mueller just wrapped up his rookie season for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. He ended the season with six goals and 25 assists in 63 games. The Switzerland native was also paired with Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Ryan Murray for the beginning of the season in Everett, who was the 2nd overall pick in 2012. Even without huge numbers, Mueller is thought of very much as an offensive defenseman. Being paired with a top offensive minded guy like Murray, the 6’4” 185-pound Mueller had to concentrate more on defense than he may have wanted to. That experience will help make the 18 year old into a more reliable two way defenseman that he should be able to carry into the next level. He played big minutes at Everett, especially once Murray got hurt just 23 games into this past season. He will likely be in Everett for another year or two but projects as a top pair and two-way defenseman once he breaks into the professional game.
NHL style comparison: Ryan McDonagh- New York Rangers. Mueller is projecting to be a top pair defenseman with great positioning in his own zone, and tough to play against. He is also strong on the puck and has the ability to jump into the offensive rush, even though it’s not his biggest asset.
Gabryel Paquin-Boudreau- Forward, 2nd round- 49th overall
The 5’11” 146-pound winger has a lot of talent but he also has a lot of developing to do. Boudreau totaled 22 goals and 41 assists for Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL. He is a very speedy, playmaking winger with great hands to go along with being a tremendous skater. Even with a lot of skill, the Quebec native is thought of as a very raw talent. He only has one junior season under his belt at age 18 so the Sharks will need to be patient and let him develop. He also really needs to work on his defensive game before he is ready for the next level in addition to adding weight to be able to handle the larger NHL players. None the less, Boudreau has a lot of talent and should be a great playmaker down the road if the Sharks allow him to develop over time, and if he can fulfill his potential.
NHL style comparison: Patrick Kane- Chicago Blackhawks. He is not going to be a 90 point scorer for years to come, but he has a lot of similar attributes to the Blackhawks forward. He is a playmaker first, scorer second. He has great hands and vision to be able to deke around defenders. Boudreau is also lightning quick on his feet with great speed and acceleration. However, the forward is very small and doesn’t have a lot of skills in the defensive zone, which he will need to work on before taking the next step.
Fredrik Bergvik- Goalie, 4th round- 117th overall
He could very well end up being the steal of the draft. The 6’2” 189-pound goaltender out of the Swedish Elite League has a lot to like about him. He is tall which is becoming a theme among many elite goaltenders in the NHL. He is therefore able to cover the top of the net even when down in the butterfly. Perhaps the most intriguing thing about Bergvik is that he comes from the same junior team in Sweden as New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist. Additionally, Bergvik actually has better numbers for Frolunda as Lundqvist had during his time there. In Lundqvist’s final year with Frolunda Jr, he posted a 2.63 GAA and zero shutouts in 19 games. Bergvik had a 1.29 GAA and four shutouts in 14 games this season. That by itself raises quite a few eyebrows as to why he fell so far in the draft. He is very raw and has a lot of developing to do, but the 18 year goaltender could be a steal if he develops to his potential down the road. He is also the first goaltender drafted in any round by the Sharks since Harri Sateri was selected in the 4th round (106th overall) in 2008.
NHL style comparison: Ryan Miller- Buffalo Sabres. A very big goaltender who thrives on being in solid positioning rather than being particularly fast, and seems to always be cool under pressure.
Michael Brodzinski- Defenseman, 5th round- 141st overall
Brodzinski is the prototypical offensive defenseman. He has decent speed but has very good hands and agility to help him when in tight spaces around the opposition. This allows him to be able to jump into the rush more and be effective in doing so. The 5’11” 185-pound Minnesota native also has great vision and a heavy shot from the back end.  He recorded 16 goals and 17 assists for Muskegon of the USHL this season. He will need to improve his speed as he adjusts to higher levels of play but has the tools to contribute as a solid offensive defenseman and powerplay specialist. The 18 year old is committed to the University of Minnesota.
NHL Style Comparison: Kris Letang- Pittsburgh Penguins. Just like Letang, Brodzinski is an offensive minded defenseman. He has good skills on the puck and likes to jump into the rush whenever possible. He will need some work as far as defensive positioning and toughness go.
Gage Ausmus- Defenseman, 5th round 151st overall
Ausmus is a very defensive oriented defenseman. In 26 games this past season with the US U-18 team in the USHL, the 18 year old Minnesota native scored two goals and five assists to go along with 20 penalty minutes and was a +17. His strength is defensive positioning and toughness, and has the size to do so. At 6’1” 211-pounds he has the capability to be a player the Sharks could use to put up against tougher teams down the road. He is very solid in his own end and also has shown the ability to jump into the play from time to time. Ausmus is committed to the University of North Dakota where he will hope to develop into a solid two way defenseman during his time with the Sioux.
NHL Style Comparison: Rob Scuderi- Pittsburgh Penguins. He is defensive first, but has the ability to contribute offensively as well. He’s very tough as a defenseman and uses his big body to knock smaller players off the puck.
Jacob Jackson- Center, 7th round- 201st overall
Coming out of Tartan High School in Minnesota, Jackson put up a lot of points in his senior year. The 29 goals and 27 assists over 25 games raised some eyebrows, even though only at the high school level. He was also a finalist for the Mr. Hockey award last winter in Minnesota that goes to the best high school player across the state. He will attend Michigan Tech where he will look to improve on his game as a whole. He has great speed and will definitely need to develop his game as he starts to face tougher competition once he goes to Michigan Tech if he wants to make an NHL roster in the coming years.
NHL player comparison: Daniel Paille- Boston Bruins. Has the speed to play at the higher levels but will need to work on adjusting his skills to the competition as he continues to develop.
Emil Galimov- Forward, 7th round- 207th overall
This past season, Galimov put up seven goals and 13 assists in 33 games for Yaroslavl of the KHL. The thing that makes those stats seem better is the fact that during the NHL lockout, many of the professional players came over to play in the KHL, meaning Galimov and the rest of the KHL regulars were playing against much tougher competition. He will need to work on bulking up for the professional game saying that he is only currently 6’2” 170-pounds. The 21 year old does have some skill and a good shot that he can bring to the table. He can contribute as a depth forward and he is the only member of this Sharks draft class that is eligible to play the full season in Worcester.
NHL player comparison: Artem Anisimov- Columbus Blue Jackets. Not an overly fast skater, but has good hands and skills on the puck. He isn’t as physical as he should be given the big size but has a good shot.
In summary, Sharks fans can look forward to seeing many of these players in Worcester over the coming seasons. Galimov is the only one eligible to start the season in Worcester in October, but others are permitted to play in Worcester for the remainder of the season once their junior seasons have come to an end in April. The Sharks seemed to draft a good balance of speed and grit as well as forwards, defensemen, and goaltenders. I honestly think Bergvik may be the steal of the draft down the road and it will be interesting to see how these players develop as they get their professional careers started with the Worcester Sharks. Make sure to keep checking back in to SharksAHL.com for all your offseason Sharks news!

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