San Jose & Detroit
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08-10-2012, 03:38 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Diego, CA
So this has turned into a "bash the Sharks prospect pool" thread? Great. Let's all have a laugh at the Sharks to feel better about ourselves.
1. NHL-proven players are better than prospects. The Sharks have Couture, Burns, Vlasic, Pavelski, Demers, Braun, all 27 and under. That's a top pairing, a #4 defenseman, and a current #5 which tons of potential, and a solid 1-2 punch at center. The Sharks may not have the best prospect pool in the league (obviously), but they have a very underrated group. Worst in the league (which is debatable, but definitely in the bottom 5) doesn't mean we don't have a solid group. For defense, all we really need is a couple of bottom-pairing guys. On offense, is our problem, but we have Couture and Pavelski down the middle, which is the most important position, and we have a few youngsters who go quite under the radar. Matt Nieto, as you mentioned, was quite streaky, but he's got a spectacular set of wheels and good hands and he is young for a junior-to-be, and he outscored Chris Kreider in Hockey East last season. Tomas Hertl had a great season in the Czech Elite league, winning the rookie of the year and if he can get his skating up to NHL-averge (which is something the Sharks org is quite good at, examples are Couture, Pavelski, Clowe). Freddie Hamilton looks to be a great 3rd liner, as Darren Helm is, with great defense, intelligent decision making, PKing, and a decent amount of scoring pop. Sean Kuraly exploded in the USHL this past season and is ripping apart the WJC USA camp. Tommy Wingels is a kid who made the team last season out of camp, was sent down, dutifully worked on all of his flaws, was AHL player of the week, and impressed the hell out of everyone down the stretch. Sebastian Stalberg and Travis Oleksuk were free agent signings, but they are very solid players who impressed in their short time in the AHL at the end of last season, and Sharks fans of all people understand the value of FA prospect signings, like Michal Sgarbossa, who everyone seems to love as soon as he left the Sharks pool.
So yeah, we don't have a ton of high-end prospects. But we have guys who could potentially fill in what holes there are. Thornton and Marleau, like Datsyuk and Zetterberg, will play for a long time. So please, stop with the pissing contest and respect that nobody can predict the future. The Sharks turned a 7th round pick in 2003 into Joe Pavelski. They turned a 6th round pick in 2001 into Ryane Clowe. They turned a 4th round pick in 2001 into Christian Ehrhoff. They turned a 7th round overage pick in 2007 into Justin Braun, and a 7th round overage pick in 2008 into Jason Demers. As Wings fans, you all should recognize that you don't need 1st round picks and highly touted prospects to maintain a high level of performance from your team.
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