Shark-Infested Blogger

June 16, 2010 2:56 AM

Interview With Randy Hahn, Final Question

I actually only have one more two-part (question)...I appreciate you taking your time here: What would you see as the positions that the Sharks should go after in the draft and are there any players that we should sorta have our eyes on?3921198865_b640b37bc3.jpg

Oh, I don't know enough about the low end of the first round, because the Sharks are obviously gonna draft really low. I think the Stanley Cup winner drafts 30th and everything after that is based on the regular season.

(Actually, the playoffs take precedent over the regular season. Thus, the other conference champion drafts 29th, the semi-finalist with the best regular-season record 28th and the other semi-finalist 27th, etc. In other words, the Sharks will draft 28th, ahead of only Chicago and Philadelphia, and preceded in order by Montreal, Vancouver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, Washington, New Jersey, Buffalo, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Nashville, Ottawa, and Colorado. Then it goes strictly by regular season record--points and tie-breaks.)

So the Sharks will draft 28th unless they move up via trade and turn that pick into a higher draft spot, and I don't know anything about that (happening). You know, rather than saying what positions would they draft, there are so many players in our system, not just Worcester but college players and junior players and I don't have a chart in front of me, a depth chart to say where we have more depth than others...

Just looking at the way the game has changed since the lockout and when the new rules came in, the big difference in the NHL between 2003 and 2010, the thing that is premium is youth and speed. And if you can find players who are ready to play in the NHL, if you can find players with speed, that's what you're looking for. And you don't always have to find them high in the first round to play in the NHL--good scouting can find gems. And I don't mean they have to come right out of the draft into the NHL. But...the quicker you can get them to the NHL and play for you as an NHL player, the better.

You know free agency (age) keeps going down, as the players gain more leverage in free agency negotiations vs. the salary cap. That's how they settled the last dispute was the players accepted a salary cap and the owners lowered free agency age. So if you can only have a player 'til he's 25 or 26, geez it's tough if you have to wait until he's 24 to develop him, and then you've only maybe got him for two years before he's eligible for free agency.

If I was going to look for any trends in the draft, it would be team speed--and obviously youth is inherent with the draft, 'cause everybody's young that you draft. So it would be stupid to say, you know, we wanna draft youth, 'cause they're all young. I would say team speed and scoring.

When you went through a playoff round where you didn't score enough, then you gotta find more scoring, right? And I don't think it's unreasonable to think that guys like Setoguchi, now that they're recovering from injuries and surgery and this and that--they're gonna bounce back and have better years next year. But you gotta stock the farm for the future. The players you draft this year, hopefully two, three years down the line will bring you the scoring you're inevitably gonna need.

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