Checking in on conditional picks for the San Jose Sharks with 10 games to go

Mar 21, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72) shakes hands
Mar 21, 2024; San Jose, California, USA; San Jose Sharks left wing William Eklund (72) shakes hands / Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports
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Pittsburgh's First Round Pick

Let's start in the first round and work our way down. San Jose holds the rights to the Pittsburgh Penguins' first-round pick this year. Like Mikael Granlund, Mike Hoffman, and Jan Rutta, the Erik Karlsson trade landed these pieces in the Bay area. However, the pick was not outright given to the Sharks this year; instead, they put a condition on it to prevent this from coming back and biting them in the neck.

It's top ten protected, meaning that if the Pittsburgh Penguins draft choice falls between 1 and 10 overall, they have the option to defer it to the 2025 draft, which is next year. However, that would not be protected at all, so the Sharks would have that pick regardless of how the Penguins played. It was done to prevent them from giving the Sharks Macklin Celebrini, but it doesn't mean they cannot get a good player if things go right,

As of the time of writing, the Penguins would hold the eighth overall pick in the draft if it were today, and the draft lottery wouldn't change anything. However, this could change rapidly since the Penguins are two points away from entirely moving out of the top ten picks. That would give the Sharks the draft pick anyway and provide them with the right to select quite a talent.

This still needs to be clarified. We'll know for sure after the season, but it seems increasingly unlikely that, with each Penguins loss, the Sharks will get the right to reap the rewards of that pick this season. It'll likely have to wait for next year. We will see if time and the hockey gods decide to change anything, but it is what it is now. Things haven't gone smoothly for the Sharks this season, so expect this to go wrong too.