What Could The San Jose Sharks Expect From The Ninth Overall Draft Pick – Part One


Feb 2, 2015; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks mascot Sharkie performs on the ice prior to the Sharks

Whose name will Doug Wilson read out on June 26? What sort of player will the San Jose Sharks get? What can the fans expect from the prospect who will be selected ninth overall? These were just some of the questions I had in my head while being stuck in traffic.

This year will be the 25th NHL Entry Draft for the San Jose Sharks organization. It is for the 25th year that some prospects will be waiting to don the Sharks cap. I sure hope there is at least someone wanting to be a Shark, right? In the unlikely event of trading away their existing first round pick, the Sharks will be picking at number nine this year.

There are various ways we can hope to predict the impact a prospect will have in the NHL. There are numerous analytics based studies (for example Stephen Burtch’s take) around the value each draft pick holds, and their expected point production depending on their draft order. These types of analyses can be quite useful, but it is a whole different can of worms that we can leave for another day.

I wanted to look at it from another angle – the historical one – where we can look at the prospects that were actually picked at number nine overall, and assess their impact in the NHL. I narrowed my analysis down to the past twenty-four draft years – all the draft years the San Jose Sharks participated in.

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Some of the players selected ninth overall have made some really nice contributions to the Sharks, while others became a household name in other organizations. There have also been a number of disappointments, to put it mildly. There has only been one goalie selected ninth overall over the past two dozen years, there were also nine defensemen, and fourteen forwards.

Over the next few weeks leading up to the San Jose’s first round selection, I will be unveiling the worst to best ninth overall selections from the past 24 years. Evaluating the impact of an established player is way easier than someone like Nikolaj Ehlers who is ripping it up in the QMJHL, but has yet to appear in an NHL game. For the younger players drafted in the past few years, I had to be quite open minded, if not optimistic, about their possible impact in the NHL.

When reviewing the list, there are some names that can get you quite excited, and there are some real downers. I really wonder what this year’s number nine selection will do for the beloved franchise in Northern California. So, without further ado, let’s start from the bottom of the ladder, and cover the two least impactful ninth overall draft picks in the NHL during the San Jose Sharks franchise existence.

24. Brent Krahn – Goalie

NHL Stats Line: 20MIN / 3 GA / 9 GAA

It is always very hard to determine how good a goalie will be based on his performance in the juniors. The success of hockey’s masked men is very hard to predict, but even then – the Brent Krahn selection has been the least impactful ninth overall selection from the past 24 years of draft.

On the upside, he played more minutes in the NHL than you or I, and he did end up playing in the NHL – something millions of people around the world only dream of. However, that single NHL game that Krahn actively featured in, those twenty minutes that he spent playing for the Dallas Stars were not the best twenty minutes of goaltending. Three goals allowed in a single period – “good” for 9.0 GAA and 0.667 save percentage.

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Big, six-foot-five goalie out of the WHL, Calgary had some big hopes for Krahn when he was drafted in the first round in 2000. The Flames were patient with the prospect, trying to bring him up to the NHL level for eight long years, but their hopes were never quite realized. Before retiring from professional hockey, Krahn clocked 202 games in the AHL, winning 100 of them.

23. Petr Taticek – Forward

NHL Stat Line: 3GP / 0G / 0A / 0P / 0PIM

In 2002, after scoring 63 points in 60 games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, an 18-year-old Czech native was selected by the Florida Panthers. He spent the next few seasons splitting time between OHL and AHL, before finally making his NHL debut during the 2005-06 season for the Panthers.

His time in the NHL was less than memorable. He only suited up for three games registering no points or penalty minutes in the process. That same season he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, only to play 17 games for their AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins registering eight points. After the season was over, he signed a contract with the Washington Capitals, but the change of scenery did not help – Taticek only appeared in one game for the Hershey Bears in the AHL. That was his last game on the Northern American ice, but he did score a goal in it, while also registering two penalty minutes.

Taticek was on the lighter side (weighing around 190 pounds), and could not quite translate his production in the OHL to either NHL’s or AHL’s level of competition. He did reasonably well in Europe, making a decent impact with Davos of the Swiss league (151 points in 250 games). He was last seen playing for Ingolstadt ERC of the German top ice hockey league where he registered 40 points in 43 games.

Stay tuned for the next article where I will reveal the next best ninth overall selections.

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