Young Stars Preview: San Jose
Dun dun. Dun dun. Dun dun. Here come the Sharks.
Since 1991 when the San Jose Sharks entered the NHL, the Californian squad has stepped up to the podium and drafted 180 players. Of those, 80 have played in at least one NHL game for a success rate of 44 per cent. Not too shabby.
Many teams make a name for themselves by drafting studs in the first round and although the Sharks boast a few early gems, San Jose seem to prefer the deep sleepers. Some of the team’s best talent in franchise history has been picked after the third round, names like Miikka Kiprusoff, Evgeni Nabokov, Joe Pavelski, Vesa Toskala, Mikael Samuelsson and Christian Ehrhoff fit the bill - Canucks fans certainly appreciate the latter two selections. We owe San Jose a fruit basket or something.
Staying true to form, four of the past five Sharks draft picks to suit up for at least one NHL game thus far were picked in the sixth round, 173rd overall or later. It’s not surprising then that San Jose’s prospects are a bit of an unknown.
You want to be in Penticton to check out the Sharks, but: A – Your bike was stolen, B – You have a flat tire on your car, C – You’ve misplaced your GPS or D – You can only find one rollerblade, well don’t sweat it. As usual, Canucks.com has your back.
All eight games of the Young Stars Tournament will be available live on edmontonoilers.com beginning September 12th. Full details on the Young Stars Tournament can be found at edmontonoilers.com/youngstars.
F - Drafted 7th round, 196th overall, in 2006 by Phoenix – One of two prospects to make the jump to the NHL last season, Ferriero made the most of his first 24 pro games with two goals and three assists following a 50 points season with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks. Ferriero has great offensive ability, he reads the ice well and will venture to the high traffic areas to create or finish scoring chances. Playing with an edge makes Ferriero one of the most competitive guys on the ice at any given time.
D - Drafted 2nd round, 57th overall, in 2009 – First things first: Doherty is listed at 6-foot-7 and 235-pounds. Wow. According to aneki.com, that puts him in a tie with Hal Gill, Brian Boyle and Vladmir Mihalik as the fifth tallest player in the NHL. Wow. He’s not quite Zdeno Chara in height or when it comes to offensive upside, but his physical, defensive game mirrors that of a young Chara. Doherty is a steady stay-at-home blueliner who is sure to impose his physical will when he sees fit.
F - Drafted 7th round, 202nd overall, in 2006 – Tough and relentless are qualities attributed to McCarthy, which doesn’t make it surprising to hear that he’s got a degree in penalty killing from the University of Shutdown. Solid speed, great on the forecheck, blocks shots and he’s been known to get physical. McCarthy also possesses a hard shot, a zinger that will likely catch a goalie or two off guard during the tournament. McCarthy appeared in four games with San Jose last season.
F - Drafted 5th round, 129th overall, in 2010 – Hamilton has been cutting his teeth with the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs and last season he doubled his point production from 28 in his rookie campaign to 55 points in 2009-10. He’s sneaky and quick and has developed a nose for the net; he can go unnoticed for stretches, but always bounces back to create quality scoring opportunities.
G - Drafted 3rd round, 91st overall, in 2007 – 'Unflappable' is how one Sharks scout described Sexsmith and those in Vancouver can attest to it. The netminder stood tall for the WHL’s Giants for the better part of five seasons, which included a President's Cup win as WHL champions and a Memorial Cup win. He is the WHL's all-time shutout record holder with 26 in his career; it’s as if he was born to stymie forwards.
|Vancouver vs Edmonton||Sept. 12||5:00pm|
|San Jose vs Anaheim||Sept. 12||8:30pm|
|Anaheim vs Calgary||Sept. 13||5:00pm|
|San Jose vs Vancouver||Sept. 13||8:30pm|
|Calgary vs Edmonton||Sept. 14||8:30pm|
|Anaheim vs Vancouver||Sept. 15||5:00pm|
|Edmonton vs San Jose||Sept. 15||8:30pm|
|Calgary vs Vancouver||Sept. 16||1:00pm|
Tournament packages, which include a ticket to each of the eight games, will be available for purchase, starting at $66 plus applicable fees.
Tournament ticket packages will go on-sale June 26 at 10am online at www.valleyfirstTIX.com, by phone at 1-877-763-2849 or in person at the South Okanagan Events Centre box office. Single game tournament tickets will be made available starting August 16th at 10am. Please note that game dates, times and opponents subject to change. More info.
Author: Derek Jory