After a grueling Dispersal Draft that left friends and family feeling alienated and abandoned, the Sharks have taken shape for their inaugural season.
With a general strategy of building a competitive team while keeping an eye on the future, GM Owen Rimmer has constructed a lineup that should fare well in a very competitive Pacific division.
Lead on the ice by Shea Weber, who is anticipated to be announced shortly as team captain, the Sharks Day 1 roster is expected to be structured as seen below:
Taylor Hall - Mark Scheifele - Timo Meier
Nikita Gusev - Pierre Luc-Dubois - Kevin Lebanc
Nick Ritchie - Sam Bennett - Valeri Nichushkin
Joakim Nordstrom - Chandler Stephenson - Andrew Shaw
Shea Weber - Oscar Klefbom
Jared Spurgeon - Dmitry Kulikov
Nathan Beaulieu - Markus Nutivaara
John Gibson - Devan Dubnyk
The starting line-up isn’t the only reason to be excited in Northern California. The San Jose Barracuda are also going to be busy building up the youth of the franchise. Right now, in the eyes of the GM, the pre-Entry Draft prospect depth rankings are:
1. Noah Dobson (D) - 2018, Round 1, 12th Overall
Noah is a big, smooth skating defenseman that is a future top-pairing defenseman. Seeing 34 game in the NHL last season, Dobson scored a respectable 7 points. He will be leaned on heavy in as the top D-man on the Barracuda, and is positioned to be the Sharks first call up.
2. Vitaly Kravtsov (RW) - 2018, Round 1, 9th Overall
The 20-year old Kravtsov is currently leading his KHL team in goals. He projects to be a top-6 player that can be relied on in all three zones. He has size and skill.
3. Ryan Poehling (C/LW) - 2017, Round 1, 25th Overall
While his development in the NHL/AHL has stalled slightly, Poehling still has potential to be a reliable two-way center. Considered a well-rounded versatile forward, he’ll be in the conversation to see a call up at some point in the pros.
4. Isac Lundestrom (C) - 2018, Round 1, 23rd Overall
Another player the Sharks drafted that has a reputation of being a reliable 200-foot player, Lundestrom has seen a total of 30 games in the NHL. He possesses a high hockey IQ and sees the ice incredibly well. The fact that he’s so responsible in own end might not make his stats stand out, but San Jose is confident he can develop into an every day middle-6 forward.
5. Lassi Thomson (D) - 2019, Round 1, 19th Overall
A great skating offensive-minded defender who moved from the WHL back to Liiga last season, Thomson needs to work on his effort on the defensive side of the same. But scoring 13 points in 39 games against stiff competition in Finland is promising.
6. Jacob Bernard-Docker (D) - 2018, Round 1, 26th Overall
A two-way defender that is known as more for his defensive game, but can surprise with his offensive abilities. Another prospect honing his game at the University of North Dakota, he has top-4 upside.
7. Shane Pinto (C) - 2019, Round 2, 32nd Overall
Pinto excelled at the 2020 World Junior tournament, scoring 7 points in 5 games. Projecting to be another responsible middle-six forward, he needs to continue to work on his skating while playing for the University of North Dakota.
8. Stelio Mattheos (RW) - 2017, Round 3, 73rd Overall
Health problems have slowed his development slightly. Still, Mattheos still projects to be a forward to can play up and down the lineup, more than likely finding a spot on the teams third line.
9. Mads Soogard (G) - 2019, Round 2, 37th Overall
A Danish goaltender that stands 6’7”, Mads has an excellent positional game but has to work on his consistency. He still has starter upside, but needs to continue to develop in Medicine Hat.
10. Jeremy Davies (D) - 2016, Round 7, 192nd Overall
A rare 7th rounder that has a shot a seeing NHL time, his first pro season led to 28 points in 62 games for Milwaukee in the AHL. While on the smaller size, Davies uses his excellent skating and passing to his advantage.
Other Notables: Trey Fix-Wolansky, Zack MacEwan, John Hayden, Kevin Mandolese, Ross Colton