Adam Jiricek Is an Interesting Option for the San Jose Sharks in the Draft

Czech Republic v Canada - Gold Medal Game - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Czech Republic v Canada - Gold Medal Game - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

San Jose is the most exciting team in the league on day one of the NHL draft. With both the first and fourteenth overall draft selections in the organization's pocket, the Sharks can push their rebuild forward a few steps with a good day on day one. With Celebrini being the easy choice with the first overall pick, and we've talked enough about him here to last a lifetime, let's look at the other selection.

The back end is an area of weakness in the pipeline, and this is a draft class with several elite defensive options moving forward. Czech defenseman Adam Jiricek. Jiricek is the brother of highly touted Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman David, and he will be coming up in the 2024 NHL entry draft as he looks to follow his brother onto North American ice. The Plzen defenseman has been playing in a men's league since he was 16 and will make a great addition to someone's prospect pool.

At 6'3, 180 lbs, this man is already the size of an NHL player. He's been playing against men in the Czech league for a few years. That experience of playing with fully grown adults will mean he is further along in his development than some. While there is the case to be made that the smaller ice surface in Europe makes it a different game to what we love here in North America. It could mean he gets to the Sharks quicker than some alternatives. 

Jiricek is probably a reach at 14, so this would require the Sharks to trade down a few places and risk losing him. But he's the profile of player that the Sharks could benefit from having the pipeline for the foreseeable future until he is ready to join Shakir Mukhamadullin on the backend that leads the Sharks out of this rebuild and back to competing for that ever illusive Stanley Cup.