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


The 2015 NHL Draft is only a couple of weeks away with the San Jose Sharks owning the ninth selection. The anticipation is growing, and so does the excitement, as this will be the earliest draft position for the Sharks since 2007 when they also picked ninth overall.

With the possibility of landing an impact player, we have been reviewing and ranking the worst-to-best ninth overall selections from the past 24 NHL Drafts.

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We are at the point of unveiling the top 10, and I must have spent what seems like forever trying to rank the remaining 10 players. There are lots of players who are still active in the NHL, and most of them are still quite young. In fact, seven of the remaining 10 players have played in the NHL this past season, two have retired, and one is still yet to make his first strides on NHL ice.

Without further ado, let’s have a look at those players who cracked our top 10.

10. Mikael Granlund – Forward

NHL Stat Line: 158GP / 18G / 70A / 88P / 48PIM

Not to be confused with his younger brother Markus Granlund of the Calgary Flames, Mikael Granlund plays for the Minnesota Wild. He is yet to finish with double-digits in goals, but his 0.44 assists per game are solid.

Mikael Granlund will not be challenging for the Maurice Richard ‘Rocket’ Trophy, nor can he truly punish his opponents with a devastating hit. What he can do though, is create scoring opportunities and feed precise passes for his teammates. Oh, and how about this goal he scored against Team Russia?

Granlund turned 23-years-old earlier this year, and by now he has done a few neat things – scored an NHL goal in his first NHL game, won gold with Team Finland at the 2011 IIHF World Championships, won bronze with Team Finland at the 2014 Olympic Games, and plays regular minutes alongside players such as Zach Parise and/or Jason Pominville in front of the raucous crowd at the Xcel Energy Center. He is a restricted free agent, but will be sure to stick around in the league for quite some time.

9. Josh Bailey – Forward

NHL Stat Line: 476GP / 81G / 137A / 218P / 147PIM

Feb 7, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; New York Islanders left wing Josh Bailey (12) skates after the puck during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Not a flashy player by any means, Josh Bailey can give your team a solid, responsible game of hockey. He has just enough firepower to be considered a secondary scoring option (currently he scores at a rate of 0.46 points per game during the regular season), and he is not likely to take any unnecessary penalties.

The Islanders certainly believe Bailey is a good piece to keep around – when his current contract expires, he should have 10 NHL seasons under his belt, and all of them with the team from the Long Island… ahem, Brooklyn.

8. Nikolaj Ehlers – Forward

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

As we have seen from some of the earlier entries in our list – high production in the CHL will not necessarily translate to someone’s success in the NHL. But boy, did Ehlers light it up during the past two years in the juniors.

During his rookie campaign for the Halifax Mooseheads he finished fourth in scoring with 104 points in 63 games, added 28 more points in just 16 playoff games, and was the winner of the RDS Cup awarded to the Rookie of the Year in the QMJHL. During his second year, he finished third with 101 points in 51 games, but his point-per-game production was actually the best in the league (a staggering 1.98 points per game).

Sep 30, 2014; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers (42) during the second period against the Ottawa Senators at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

A 19-year-old left winger out of Denmark, Ehlers has yet to suit up for the Winnipeg Jets in a regular season game. However, he looks ready and poised to play in the big leagues after two breathtaking seasons in the QMJHL.

His main goal is quite similar to most other young prospects wanting to crack the NHL – to bulk up and become stronger in order to avoid being thrown around by someone much bigger than him.

7. Kyle McLaren – Defenseman

NHL Stat Line: 719GP / 46G / 161A / 207P / 671PIM

Sharks Stat Line: 302GP / 12G / 71A / 83P / 301PIM

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  • Big, strong, bone crushing K-Mac. Kyle McLaren split his time in the NHL between two teams – the

    Boston Bruins

    who drafted him in 1995, and the San Jose Sharks where he landed after a three-way trade between San Jose, Boston, and the

    Montreal Canadiens

    in 2003.

    While playing for the Bruins, McLaren tainted his reputation after he injured Richard Zednik during the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2002. However, his time with the Sharks was less controversial, and he had five nice seasons in teal. He was a menace with his signature hip checks in his own zone, and a laid back guy in the dressing room. Here is a little video for you all…

    Remember to check back next week when we see who is in our top-six of ninth overall draft picks.

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