Shark-Infested Blogger

June 28, 2010 3:16 PM

Evaluating the San Jose Sharks 2010 Draft

First and foremost, it is important to reveal that my knowledge of NHL prospect is limited to the top five or ten. Not being near any major juniors or college hockey teams and with the limited accuracy of even the so-called experts, I do not see the excursion of following them to be an efficient use of my time.

Secondly, I trust Doug Wilson in this endeavour. He may not be the best general manger at drafting talent, but despite being perennial contenders, the San Jose Sharks are generally pretty well-stocked with prospects.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I can still provide some insight on the draft through research and knowledge of the team's needs at varying positions in the system. In this article, I will give an assessment of their top pick, and follow with other rounds in a subsequent article.

Forward Charlie Coyle is the cousin of former NHL players Tony Amonte and Bobby Sheehan; hockey is the primary sport that seems to be in the genes, with far more family trees than the three major American sports combined. (That's right: I am not considering hockey a major sport in the U.S., although it is not far behind baseball these days.) He is 6'2" and 202 lbs., a good size for a drafted forward.

Coyle was one of a record 11 American players taken in the first round, and helped lead the U.S. to the 2009 Four Nations tournament title with a 3-0 record, netting the overtime game-winner against Switzerland. He also won the 2010 John Carlton award for outstanding Eastern Massachusetts student-athlete and will attend Boston University in the fall, so he would appear to be a character guy.

Coyle was ranked 24th among skaters by NHL Central Scouting, so he was not a reach. However, Coyle does not play the coveted centre position, and the Sharks have a glut of forwards in their system. Many are old enough that they will either be with the NHL team or no longer in the organisation by the time Coyle is ready, and most are projected role players.

This makes one wonder if there will be room for him, and if so, does it mean the team is not evaluating its forwards well? Could that be the case with Coyle?

The reality is no one really knows when and if Coyle will impact the NHL club, but there are no particularly strong indicators that this was either a great or poor pick for the franchise. Based on Wilson's track record, I have faith we will see him in a Sharks uniform by mid-decade.

A Member Of