San Jose Sharks Draft: The Ninth Overall Pick – Part Four


Jan 30, 2014; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid (3) controls the puck as San Jose Sharks center Tommy Wingels (57) tries to score during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

This month, with the ninth overall selection, the San Jose Sharks will draft a prospect who the fans hope will make an impact, and improve the team’s competitiveness. However, only time will tell whether this will be the case. For now, we can look back in history, and check out how successful the past ninth overall picks have been in the NHL and set our expectations from there.

If you have been staying on top of our countdown – well done to you! If you have not, here are the links to previous parts (Part One, Part Two, and Part Three). To recap, here is our list so far:

24. Brent Krahn

23. Petr Taticek

22. Brett Lindros

21. Brian Lee

20. Robert Petrovicky

19. Jamie Lundmark

18. Michael Rupp

17. James Sheppard

16. Nick Boynton

15. Patrick Poulin

We are going to cover four more athletes who made their mark in the NHL after being picked ninth overall. At number 14, we have someone who most Sharks fans are quite familiar with.

14. Todd Harvey – Forward

NHL Stat Line: 671GP / 91G / 132A / 223P / 950PIM

Sharks Stat Line: 301GP / 34G / 49A / 83P / 335PIM

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I must say, I was quite fond of the times when the Sharks had

Owen ‘Buster’ Nolan


Todd Harvey

in the roster at the same time. Regardless, Harvey’s hockey career was off to a flying start. In 1995, Harvey captained Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships on home soil. He and his teammates successfully defended the title as they became the victors of the tournament. Prior to all that, Harvey played great in the OHL, posting 271 points in 173 games.

Unfortunately, it was another case where the production in the OHL did not translate well enough to the NHL. In the big league, on average, you could expect to see Harvey’s name on the score sheet every third game, but there was a lot more to his game than scoring. With his relatively small stature, he was throwing himself around the corners and onto the opponents, making his living as a pesky checker and trouble maker. He never got to raise the Stanley Cup, but came mighty close when he was part of the Oilers team that went to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but ultimately lost to Carolina Hurricanes.

13. Ladislav Smid – Defenseman

NHL Stat Line: 530GP / 12G / 59A / 71P / 453PIM

November 26, 2014; San Jose, CA, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid (15) controls the puck against the San Jose Sharks during the second period at SAP Center at San Jose. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At 29-years-old, there is still a lot of hockey left in Ladislav Smid who has been a part, albeit small, of the miracle run this past season with the Calgary Flames. Czech Olympian in 2014, Smid still has stronger associations with the Edmonton Oilers than with his current club. Perhaps it is because he was part of the package which the Anaheim Ducks sent back to the Oilers in exchange for Chris Pronger, and thus he was always under the microscope from the media in Alberta.

So far, Smid has played in nine NHL seasons and has two more years left under his current contract. His last season was riddled with injuries which limited the veteran to only 31 games. This defensive defenseman does not wow with anything in particular, but his body of work and effort on the ice should be more than enough to get him back into the defensive fold of the Flames for next season.

12. Jared Cowen – Defenseman

NHL Stat Line: 212GP / 15G / 27A / 42P / 158PIM

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  • Drafted by the Senators almost six years ago, Cowen hung around with his junior team the Spokane Chiefs for two more years. Apart from the time he spent sidelined nursing his hip injury during the 2012-13 season, Cowen has been a regular in Canada’s capital city.

    The 24-year-old has two more years left under his current contract with the Senators, and is likely to continue his professional growth. Playing for Ottawa should present more opportunities to showcase his talents before he hits the unrestricted free agency status in 2017, unless Brian Murray decides to keep the Saskatoon native, and extend his services.

    11. Tuomo Ruutu – Forward

    702GP / 148G / 197A / 345P / 588PIM

    Tuomo Ruutu is a younger brother of the tough Jarkko Ruutu who used to terrorize NHL players since the turn of the century. Tuomo’s game is also quite different to that of Jarkko. Tuomo Ruutu has quietly surpassed the 700 game plateau in the NHL, registering a point in almost every other game. He is currently a member of the New Jersey Devils, with one more year left in his current contract. Before he was traded to the Devils, he played for Chicago Blackhawks and Carolina Hurricanes.

    Apr 7, 2015; Newark, NJ, USA; New York Rangers left wing Tanner Glass (15) hits New Jersey Devils left wing Tuomo Ruutu (15) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

    Unfortunately for him, he was with the right teams at the wrong time. Ruutu was representing the Blackhawks when Rod Brind’Amour lifted the Stanley Cup for the Hurricanes, but when it was time for Jonathan Toews of the Blackhawks to lift the Holy Grail, Ruutu was playing for Carolina.

    Ruutu’s production has decreased significantly over the past couple of years, and it’s a wonder if he can still offer anything to an NHL team. If he struggles to find a spot on a NHL team, there is no doubt that he will have an option of playing a few more years in his native Finland, or elsewhere in Europe. He is likely to end up with close to 800 games in the NHL, cracking 150 goals and 200 assists. Unless traded, considering the current state of the Devils, I am not sure he will ever lift Lord Stanley’s Cup, at least not as a player.

    Be sure to come back, as we reach the top-10 in our countdown to the best ninth overall draft pick from the past 24 years.

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