Currently, it is reasonable to assume that the Sharks will have a high pick in the coming draft, and there is plenty of young talent to choose from.
Given the current stage of the season, it is still somewhat hard to gauge where the Sharks will pick for obvious reasons. But barring something out of the ordinary in the second half of the season, the team will most likely pick anywhere from first to tenth overall.
There is plenty of potential generational defenseman to pick from in that range, and team teal most certainly needs to take advantage. Three in particular that jump out are prospects Luke Hughes, Owen Power, and Simon Edvinsson.
To acquire Hughes, the Sharks would like need to hold a top-three pick. But should they have a selection that high, Hughes is the best option of the three defensemen.
The University of Michigan commit will be the third person in his family to enter the NHL. Behind the tutelage of his older brothers, Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks and Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils, he should be a force to be reckoned with.
What truly sets Hughes apart from the other prospects his skating ability and decision making. He possesses elite edges, along with not forcing the puck into tight spaces, opting instead to drop back and regroup. These are attributes that the Sharks desperately need on defense.
Should the Sharks land roughly the fifth overall pick, Hughes’s future Wolverine teammate in Owen Power is the best option.
In his first season with the Wolverine’s the 18-year old defenseman has played lights out. Through sixteen regular-season games, the freshman accounted for three goals, thirteen assists, and a total of sixteen points.
Power is stylistically very different from Hughes but still brings valuable attributes that the Sharks are lacking. Despite his impressive offensive stats, Power tends to stay primarily in the defensive zone.
He sits in front of the net and blocks shots at a high clip in the process. Additionally, he closes down lanes effectively, especially when going to the left side. He loves to control the glass and dishes out highlight-level hard hits against opposing forwards.
On a team where sound traditional defense is lacking, the Ontario native would be a nice change of pace.
In a situation where the Sharks would draft between seventh and tenth, the best selection would be Swedish defenseman Simon Edvinsson. The now 18-year old shined while playing for the under-17 Swedish national team. Logging a total of fourteen points in just thirteen games.
One of the things that Edvinsson brings to the table is his size. At a towering 6’5″, his physicality will be his strongest assets. He will join a club of roughly 30 NHLers that stand at 6’4″ or taller.
His skating mechanics are tremendous for someone of his size, and his situational awareness makes him valuable for any team. Finally, his wingspan makes him an effective shot-blocker and a threat in his own zone.
All in all, the Sharks have plenty of options in a deep draft where currently there is no consensus number one overall pick. Hopefully, one of these defensemen will usher in the next era of the Sharks.