San Jose Sharks pick Leo Sahlin Wallenius at 53 overall to continue a great event

U18 Five Nations Tournament
U18 Five Nations Tournament / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages

With the 53rd overall pick in the NHL draft, your San Jose Sharks took Leo Sahlin Wallenius. A left-shooting defenseman with extreme upside is another player that could have gone in the first round. To get him at 53 is sensational value, and the 6'0, 180 lbs defenseman is crafty work by Mike Grier. He's a sensational skater with a solid defensive presence with offensive upside. He's everything you want in a defenseman prospect.

In Vaxjo's development program, he recorded 11 goals and 31 assists for 42 points in 43 games as a defenseman. There's so much to like about him as an offensive presence. There might be issues with his scoring translating to the professional game. Still, if he's sheltered by Sam Dickinson, who the Sharks drafted in round one yesterday, there is every chance he becomes the plug the Sharks need to fill the void throughout his career.

Sahlin Wallenius will likely report to Vaxjo next year and find himself in their development program. If he can finally get a look at the SHL, the Sharks could consider that progress for someone who has a ton of upside. If he is brought along well, this could be an excellent top-four defenseman for the long haul. San Jose needs that moving forward because their blueline has been problematic in the long term. Since the conclusion of the 2018-19 season, the Sharks have struggled on their end.

He's still a few years away from being ready for the NHL. At some point in the next 2-3 years, we will see the player move to the AHL with the Barracuda and adjust to the ice surfaces in North America. When the Sharks get this player, he should be ready to plug in and take the mantle from Vlasic and the old guard to embrace a fresh era with new blood.