New-Look HP! Unfiltered Articles Stats Glossary Contact Us
Hockey Prospectus home

New Look Hockey Prospectus is available with new Premium Content!
Limited time offer: $9.99 for an entire year!

<< Previous Article
Summer Skate (09/01)
<< Previous Column
Top 10 Prospects (08/30)
Next Column >>
Top 10 Prospects (09/04)
Next Article >>
Top 10 Prospects (09/04)

September 3, 2012
Top 10 Prospects
San Jose Sharks

by Corey Pronman

Printer-
friendly
Contact
Author

Full list of NHL Organizational Rankings

San Jose Sharks Top 10 Prospects

1. Tomas Hertl, Center
2. Travis Oleksuk, Left Wing
3. Sean Kuraly, Center
4. Matt Nieto, Left Wing
5. Matt Tennyson, Defense
6. Freddie Hamilton, Center
7. Konrad Abeltshauser, Defense
8.Dylan DeMelo, Defense
9.Taylor Doherty, Defense
10.Nick Petrecki, Defense

Organizational Ranking: 29th

System Overview: While the Sharks don't boast a truly impressive array of prospects in their system, they have begun to assemble a fair amount of talent and their outlook has steadily improved. Drafting Tomas Hertl, a couple of good free agent signings, and positive development from mid-round prospects have provided optimism for this system. However, the Sharks lack true top talents.

---

1. Tomas Hertl, Center
2010-11 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 11/12/1993
Age: 18
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 198
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 38 GP, 12 G, 25 P (Slavia Praha-Cezch Extraliga)
Acquired: First round, 17th overall in 2012 by San Jose

The Good: Hertl is a gifted puck possessor who put up very impressive numbers in the Czech pro league, even though it is one whose league quality has started to decline. He's a top-end playmaker with impressive hands and vision. Hertl shows the ability to create offense with consistency both in the offensive zone set up and in slowing the game down and creating from the sideboards. He plays a solid physical game as he can protect the puck well and doesn't mind throwing his weight around. Hertl plays a fine defensive game, too.

The Bad: Hertl's main glaring weakness is his skating as he has a sloppy first few steps and a below-average top gear.

Projection: He could be an above-average second line center.

---

2. Travis Oleksuk, Left Wing
2010-11 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 02/03/1989
Age: 23
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 194
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 41 GP, 23 G, 53 P (Minnesota-Duluth-WCHA)
Acquired: College free agent

The Good: Oleksuk is a skilled player with above-average hands and solid hockey sense. He's certainly a fine playmaker who knows how to create offense and he has a good perimeter game. Oleksuk has a physical element to his skillset as he's a pretty gritty player who drives the high percentage areas and forechecks well.

The Bad: Oleksuk's skating is average, and while not a weakness, he could be slightly faster. He doesn't have a glaring hole in his game, but he lacks a real standout skill.

Projection: He could be an okay second line forward.

---

3. Sean Kuraly, Center
2010-11 Ranking: Unranked
Date of birth: 01/20/1993
Age: 19
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 200
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 54 GP, 23 G, 70 P (Indiana-USHL)
Acquired: Fifth round, 133rd overall in 2011 by San Jose

The Good: Kuraly is a player whose development curve is trending way upward and he could possibly have a huge freshman season at Miami. He's an easy plus skater who can simply jet and creates scoring chances with his speed with regularity. Kuraly shows a good on-ice work ethic at both ends and will use his speed to pressure defenders. He's a strong player with a good physical game, and when he drives the net, he can be pretty hard to stop. Kuraly also has a solid-average pair of hands and can show some offensive creativity.

The Bad: Kuraly isn't overly gifted offensively and isn't the kind of player who slows the game down and tries to be a playmaker.

Projection: He could be an average second line forward.

---

4. Matt Nieto, Left Wing
2010-11 Ranking: 3rd
Date of birth: 11/12/1993
Age: 18
Height: 5'11''
Weight: 180
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 37 GP, 16 G, 42 P (Boston University-Hockey East)
Acquired: Second round, 47th overall in 2011 by San Jose

The Good: Nieto is a high-end skater who is very easy on the eyes to watch between his great edge work, powerful first step, and the way he can simply fly when he hits his top gear. He's got good hands as well, and while those elements have always been part of his game, he was using his teammates better this year. Nieto doesn't mind going to the high percentage areas and shows the ability to be a fine finisher. He's a decent defensive forward as well.

The Bad: Nieto's size is a weakness for him as he does have a decent strength level but projects as a below-average physical player. His consistency isn't always there, either.

Projection: He could be an average second line winger.

---

5. Matt Tennyson, Defense
2010-11 Ranking: N/A
Date of birth: 04/23/1990
Age: 22
Height: 6'2''
Weight: 211
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 41 GP, 11 G, 24 P (Western Michigan-WCHA)
Acquired: College free agent

The Good: Tennyson is a pretty mobile defender with above-average four-way movements, top gear, and acceleration. He's a solid offensive player who shows good vision and instincts moving the puck and projects to have potential value on a second power play unit. Tennyson was pretty effective after stepping into the AHL after signing as a free agent and was given prime offensive minutes right away.

The Bad: Tennyson's defensive game is a question mark and he projects as a player who will need to be sheltered from major defensive responsibilities. He has an okay physical game due to his size but doesn't use his body all that much.

Projection: His ceiling borders between a #4 and #5 defender.

---

6. Freddie Hamilton, Center
2010-11 Ranking: 4th
Date of birth: 01/01/1992
Age: 20
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 190
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 61 GP, 35 G, 86 P (Niagara-OHL)
Acquired: Fifth round, 129thoverall in 2010 by San Jose

The Good: Hamilton is a very smart two-way player whose defensive awareness is pretty advanced for his age. He shows the ability to seemingly always make the right defensive read, is a hard worker in his own end, and is good at faceoffs. His sense translates into his off-the-puck reads on offense as well as the fact that he's a good puck distributor. Hamilton is a solid skater with a nice top gear and should skate with pros just fine. He has a good physical game and doesn't mind throwing his weight around. Hamilton can play all the forward positions.

The Bad: He needs to continue bulking up, especially for the role he projects to play. Hamilton isn't an overly creative player and doesn't project to produce a significant level of offense.

Projection: He could be a league-average regular.

---

7. Konrad Abeltshauder, Defense
2010-11 Ranking: 7th
Date of birth: 09/02/1992
Age: 20
Height: 6'5''
Weight: 217
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 57 GP, 8 G, 44 P (Halifax-QMJHL)
Acquired: Sixth round, 163rd overall in 2010 by San Jose

The Good: Abeltshauser gets regular praise for his hockey sense, with one scout calling his instincts very advanced and another praising his quick reaction time. Abeltshauser was a force in the QMJHL this year, showing good offensive ability, and he was solid in his own end as well. He has a good wing span and can be an effective pokechecker. He makes a good outlet pass, and will also jump into the rush, showing some offensive skill when he senses a chance.

The Bad: He could be a tad more physical and make more use of his big frame. Some scouts say he's a good skater, but he's probably a tick below-average although solid for a big man.

Projection: He could be a #4 defenseman.

---

8. Dylan DeMelo, Defense
2010-11 Ranking: Unranked
Date of birth: 05/01/1993
Age: 19
Height: 6'0''
Weight: 196
Shoots: Right
Statistics: 67 GP, 7 G, 40 P (Mississauga-OHL)
Acquired: Sixth round, 179thoverall in 2011 by San Jose

The Good: DeMelo took a huge step forward this season, showing good two-way hockey sense putting up some impressive numbers in the OHL, while also playing on the top four in a brief AHL stint. He's a smart puck-mover who can quarterback a power play well and has solid hands. DeMelo has decent mobility, is a solid pokechecker, and projects as a player with average defensive value.

The Bad: DeMelo is a tad undersized, a slight weakness that is enhanced by the fact that his physical game isn't all that great.

Projection: He could be a good third pairing defenseman.

---

9. Taylor Doherty, Defense
2010-11 Ranking: 2nd
Date of birth: 03/02/1991
Age: 21
Height: 6'7''
Weight: 230
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 63 GP, 0 G, 6 P (Worcester-AHL)
Acquired: Second round, 57thoverall in 2009 by San Jose

The Good: Just by looking at his height/weight, you can see Doherty's main strength—he's an absolute monster on the ice with a great wingspan. Despite his underwhelming numbers in his first pro season, in junior, Doherty showed impressive touch with the puck for a big man and has some puck-moving potential.

The Bad: Doherty's hockey sense is lacking, as his decisions are usually off and he tends to hurt his team with turnovers and gaffes. While his physical play was inconsistent in junior, in the pro game, he didn't really show much of a physical game at all. His skating showed some improvement, and while he's not a good skater, he's fine for his size. His offensive production this season is also concerning.

Projection: He could be a third pairing defender.

---

10. Nick Petrecki, Defense
2010-11 Ranking: 1st
Date of birth: 07/11/1989
Age: 23
Height: 6'3''
Weight: 230
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 68 GP, 1 G, 9 P (Worcester-AHL)
Acquired: First round, 28thoverall in 2007 by San Jose

The Good: Petrecki is a big, physically-developed defender who easily looks the part of a high-end physical player and he regularly closes his gaps with body contact. I've heard conflicting reports about his skating, but from my eyes, he seems like a decent skater and above-average for his size although his mechanics aren't perfect.

The Bad: Petrecki is a null offense player who should only be relied on to make a basic outlet pass. His hockey sense is also questionable, and that's been his main hurdle from excelling at the pro level, as his defensive play and reads have been inconsistent and his improvements have been gradual.

Projection: He could be a #6 defenseman.

---

The Next Five

11. Lee Moffie, Defense: Moffie is a smart two-way player with good physicality and some offensive upside.

12. Danny O'Regan, Center: O'Regan had a great end to the season as he joined the USNTDP late and rocketed to the top of their depth chart. He's small, but pretty skilled.

13. Colin Blackwell, Center: Blackwell has speed, hands, sense, and grit, but no real high-end skill and he's pretty small.

14. Chris Tierney, Center: Tierney really came on in the second half. He's a blazer with offensive upside although the latter didn't always show this season.

15. Joakim Ryan, Defense: Ryan is a little small, but he's mobile, has some nice puck skills and works hard.

The Sleeper: Marek Viedensky, Center

Viedensky's first pro season was somewhat hampered by injury. He has good possession skill, and in junior he showed he could be a physical threat, but the pace of the pro game seemed too much for him at times.

---

San Jose Sharks Organizational Top 10

Players 22 or under as of 09/15/2012 or still considered a prospect as defined here.

1. Tomas Hertl, Center
2. Travis Oleksuk, Left Wing
3. Sean Kuraly, Center
4. Matt Nieto, Left Wing
5. Matt Tennyson, Defense
6. Freddie Hamilton, Center
7. Konrad Abeltshauser, Defense
8.Dylan DeMelo, Defense
9.Taylor Doherty, Defense
10.Nick Petrecki, Defense

The Sharks had no NHL regulars last season that fit the age or games played threshold.

Corey Pronman is an author of Hockey Prospectus. You can contact Corey by clicking here or click here to see Corey's other articles.

0 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Summer Skate (09/01)
<< Previous Column
Top 10 Prospects (08/30)
Next Column >>
Top 10 Prospects (09/04)
Next Article >>
Top 10 Prospects (09/04)

RECENTLY AT HOCKEY PROSPECTUS
Annoucements: Where Are The New Articles?
Zamboni Tracks: Who's That Guy? Special Edmo...
Hall Of Fame: My 2014 HHOF Inductees
On The Horizon: Four Nations And Junior "A" ...
A Closer Look: MacArthur-Turris-Ryan Keeping...


MORE BY COREY PRONMAN
2012-09-10 - Top 10 Prospects: Boston Bruins
2012-09-05 - Top 10 Prospects: Detroit Red Wings
2012-09-04 - Top 10 Prospects: Chicago Blackhawks
2012-09-03 - Top 10 Prospects: San Jose Sharks
2012-08-30 - Top 10 Prospects: Florida Panthers
2012-08-28 - Top 10 Prospects: Washington Capitals
2012-08-27 - Top 10 Prospects: Ottawa Senators
More...

MORE TOP 10 PROSPECTS
2012-09-10 - Top 10 Prospects: Boston Bruins
2012-09-05 - Top 10 Prospects: Detroit Red Wings
2012-09-04 - Top 10 Prospects: Chicago Blackhawks
2012-09-03 - Top 10 Prospects: San Jose Sharks
2012-08-30 - Top 10 Prospects: Florida Panthers
2012-08-28 - Top 10 Prospects: Washington Capitals
2012-08-27 - Top 10 Prospects: Ottawa Senators
More...