Jun 30, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Mirco Mueller poses for a photo with team officials after being introduced as the number eighteen overall pick to the San Jose Sharks during the 2013 NHL Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Who Are The San Jose Sharks' Best Prospects?

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As we get closer to the draft, free agency, and the rest of the offseason, it’s time to discuss what players the San Jose Sharks have for the future, and maybe some possible holes to fill up with the rest of the group (defense).

It’s time to take a look at the best prospects in the Sharks prospect pool!

Forwards: Matt Nieto, Tomas Hertl

Yes, I am aware that they just finished their rookie season, but because they are so young, and are only done with one year.

I’m seeing massive improvements in their future. The Sharks have had two forwards be tied hand in hand as the future of the Sharks since the 05-06 lockout. It’s been Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau, followed by Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture, and now, it’s Hertl and Nieto. Hertl — an excellent goal scorer and a big body — teamed up with Nieto’s smarts, will improve, and they are the best prospects the Sharks have at forward.

Forwards That Haven’t Played A Full Season In The NHL Yet: Sean Kuraly, Chris Tierny, Gabryel Boudreau

Alright fine. If NHLers don’t count, these are the best prospects the Sharks have in the talent pool.

If you watched the World Juniors in 2013, and saw the United States win the gold medal, you may have heard of Sean Kuraly. At the World Juniors, he had three points and was a +4 in seven games.

He only had 12 points at Miami University, but Kuraly is mostly recognized for his penalty killing. And as we learned from the Sharks playoff knockout against the Blues a few years ago, penalty killing is a good thing. Granted, the penalty kill has improved, but you can never be too sure.

While the London Knights had an off year, the year that they won the OHL championship, Chris Tierny had a great season. The centerman (shocking that the Sharks would draft a center) had 21 points in 21 games in the OHL playoffs and was a +10. That is a point a game playoff performer. If the Sharks want a guy who doesn’t “shrink” in the playoffs, even though I don’t think any of them really do, Chris Tierny can fix that.

Gabryel Boudreau was the Sharks’ second round draft pick from 2013, and he had an excellent year with Baie-Comeau in the QMJHL. Just like Tierny, he had 18 points in 18 QMJHL playoff games, but unlike Tierny, Boudreau had 22 goals and 41 assists in the regular season. Clearly, he has no issue setting up goals, and even though the Sharks don’t need scoring help now, they’ll continue to have it when Boudreau comes up.

Defensemen: Matt Tennyson, Mirco Mueller

The San Jose Sharks have a steep drop off with defensive talent. They have players like Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun who are excellent defensemen, and then they have Brad Stuart and Scott Hannan who are not so much excellent. Now with the loss of Boyle, the Sharks need some guys who can fill in.

Sharks fans should know the name Matt Tennyson. The defenseman has played mostly in the AHL, but two years ago played a few games in the NHL with the Sharks. In fact, he was the first junior Shark to actually put on a San Jose Sharks sweater. He also spent a good time of last year with the Sharks, but just as a seventh defenseman and never actually putting any minutes in. Still, he had a very solid year, including a -6 rating, which doesn’t sound very good unless you knew how woeful the Worcester Sharks were last year.

Mirco Mueller was the Sharks’ first round pick in 2013. The Swiss defenseman played with the Everett Silvertips and had a solid 27 point season in 60 games played. A lot of people have been saying that Mueller could be the replacement from Dan Boyle, which seems amazing considering he’s only 19 years old. But the Sharks management had the same feeling with Tomas Hertl, and look how that turned out.

Goalies: Uhhhhhh Alex Stalock?

I said I wouldn’t use NHL players on the prospects list, but Alex Stalock is legitimately the only goalie prospect to be excited about. J.P. Anderson played a few games in Worcester, but not enough to get a strong enough opinion on him, and the Worcester Sharks starting goalie Harri Sateri just booked it for the KHL. Maybe this is an area the Sharks target at the draft.

Well the draft is less than a month away people.

I HOPE YOU’RE ALL EXCITED! There is a possibility I will be in attendance and ready to see who the Sharks draft. And about a week after the draft is FREE AGENCY! Ahh the offseason. I guess as a Sharks fan, I’m so excited because I’m so used to it coming quickly. :(

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