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


The upcoming 2015 NHL Draft presents the San Jose Sharks with a great opportunity to select an impactful player with the ninth overall selection. Today, with only a few days left until the Sharks will (possibly) pick at number nine, we unveil the three best ninth overall picks from the past 24 NHL Draft weekends.

The players we have ranked, range from from those who barely left their mark in the NHL, to those who have become prominent forces to be reckoned with. While there have not been any generational caliber players, there have been some really strong picks.

If we go back to the pre-Sharks era, there have been some ninth overall picks that were inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, namely Cam Neely and Brian Leetch. However, there were no clear Hockey Hall of Fame candidates emerging from the ninth overall picks selected since 1991 – the first NHL Draft the San Jose Sharks participated in.

With that said, if the Sharks land a player similar to the ones below, it will be a draft to celebrate.

3. Dougie Hamilton – Defenseman

NHL Stat Line: 178 GP / 22G / 61A / 83P / 95PIM

Mar 14, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton (27) moves the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at the CONSOL Energy Center. Boston won 2-0. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I have to be honest here, picking Hamilton over Trouba was probably one of the hardest decisions I had to make when constructing this list. I gave the tie breaker to Hamilton for his continuous improvement over the past three years in the NHL. Hamilton is a big (six-foot-five, 212 pounds) right-handed defender who happens to be a strong offensive producer.

His status as a restricted free agent this summer is already creating some buzz around the league, including certain fans pleading to throw an offer sheet for the Boston Bruins to ponder on. There is a still a lot more to Hamilton as he matures into a complete package, and the Toronto native who already created a good name for himself can make some serious noise in the league.

2. Dion Phaneuf – Defenseman

NHL Stat Line: 750GP / 117G / 283A / 400P / 1053PIM

Apr 8, 2015; Columbus, OH, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf (3) against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets won 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Phaneuf’s leadership has been questioned as he captained the team to the fourth worst record in the NHL this past season with an abundance of locker room related issues. The 60 points he scored during a single season (2007-08) are now seven long years behind, and it last took him almost twice as many games to get that many points (60 points over the past two seasons where he played 150 games).

His hits are no longer considered the hardest in the league. He has been heavily criticized by the media in Toronto for the past three years. The seven million dollar cap hit he carries may be a tad steep. He will potentially be traded in the upcoming months.

Despite all of that, Phaneuf is a heck of players and would easily fit into the top four on most teams in the NHL. There is no doubt that his impact has diminished over time, and the last few years pale in comparison to the years he had in Calgary.

He still has the edge to his game – he can still hit well, and can still produce some offense. Phaneuf, 30, can certainly still give five or six more solid seasons, regardless whether he stays in Toronto or if he gets traded elsewhere. Well known for his humanitarianism, appearance on the EA Sports NHL cover, and off ice feuds with Sean Avery over his now wife – Phaneuf will likely retire with a much better than average career.

It’s not his fault the Maple Leafs offered him such a huge contract. Easily cracking 1,000 games played and 500 points scored mark while delivering numerous hits and leading his teammates out onto the ice, Phaneuf is not as bad of a player as he has recently been painted.

1. Logan Couture – Forward

NHL Stat Line: 379GP / 139G / 149A / 288P / 99PIM

Sharks Stat Line: 379GP / 139G / 149A / 288P / 99PIM

Mar 29, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Jose Sharks center Logan Couture (39) on the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2007 draft was a good year for prospects – Patrick Kane, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Shattenkirk are just a few players that were drafted on June 22, 2007. Eight years ago, was the only other time the Sharks selected at number nine, and they certainly did not blow it, picking up a player that has become one of the cornerstones of the franchise. San Jose proudly selected the Guelph, Ontario native – Logan Couture.

Before making a name for himself in the NHL, Couture played 232 games in the OHL, all with Ottawa 67’s, registering 287 points, and was Named to the OHL All-Star Game in three consecutive years.

Calder Memorial Trophy Finalist, NHL Rookie All-Star team captain, 2011 NHL All-Star Game participant – Couture already racked up 288 points in 379 games, and still has four more seasons under his current contract with the Sharks. He is considered to be one of the core players for the Sharks moving forward alongside Joe Pavelski, and dare I say assume the role of the Alternate Captain once the old guard of Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau leave the organization.

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Despite San Jose failing to qualify for the playoffs, Couture set his career-high in points with 67, and is expected to break the 70-point plateau in the coming seasons. You can call me biased, but I truly believe it is Couture who has been the best steal at number nine in the NHL draft since 1991.

Below is the complete table, showing the final ranking of the ninth overall selections since the 1991 NHL Draft, or in other words – all the draft years in which San Jose participated.

Looking at the table below, I certainly have some high expectations from the prospect that will join the Sharks this summer. While I am excited about the idea of getting someone like Couture or Hamilton, I need to remember to tame my expectations and look at how “well” some of the names on the bottom of the list fared. I certainly can’t wait for the draft!

Final Ranking of the Ninth Overall Selections Since 1991 NHL Draft

Our RankDraft YearNamePosition
12007Logan CoutureForward
22003Dion PhaneufDefenseman
32011Dougie HamiltonDefenseman
42012Jacob TroubaDefenseman
52013Bo HorvatForward
61996Ruslan SaleiDefenseman
71995Kyle McLarenDefenseman
82014Nikolaj EhlersForward
92008Josh BaileyForward
102010Mikael GranlundForward
112001Tuomo RuutuForward
122009Jared CowenDefenseman
132004Ladislav SmidDefenseman
141993Todd HarveyForward
151991Patrick PoulinForward
161997Nick BoyntonDefenseman
172006James SheppardForward
181998Michael RuppForward
191999Jamie LundmarkForward
201992Robert PetrovickyForward
212005Brian LeeDefenseman
221994Brett LindrosForward
232002Petr TaticekForward
242000Brent KrahnGoalie

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