The San Jose Sharks selected nine players in the 2021 NHL Draft this past weekend.
The Sharks entered the weekend with eight picks, before trading the 71st pick to the St. Louis Blues, in exchange for picks 81 and 177. Here’s a recap of all nine selections.
1st Round, 7th Overall: William Eklund (F)
Getting Eklund at seventh overall was a win for the Sharks, in my opinion. He produced at a great rate in Sweden’s highest professional league this year, scoring 11 goals and 23 points in 40 games and projects to be a top-six NHL forward.
3rd Round, 81st Overall: Benjamin Gaudreau (G)
Gaudreau is an interesting case, as he hasn’t played a regular season game since the 2019-20 season, as a result of the OHL season being cancelled. That said, he did play in 28 games as a rookie with the Sarnia Sting that season, after being selected seventh overall in the 2019 OHL Draft.
4th Round, 103rd Overall: Gannon Laroque (D)
Laroque is a 6-foot-2, right-handed defenseman who plays with the WHL’s Victoria Royals. He has a limited sample size of junior hockey play over the last two years but did have seven points in 21 WHL games this past season.
4th Round, 121st Overall: Ethan Cardwell (F)
As was the case with many OHL players, Cardwell went overseas to get into game action this year, after being passed over in the 2020 NHL Draft. In Sweden, he scored an impressive nine goals and 27 points in 18 games, playing in the country’s third-highest professional league.
5th Round, 135th Overall: Artem Guryev (D)
Yet another OHLer on this list, Guryev did not play in the 2020-21 season. In the year prior, the 6-foot-3 defenseman had split the year between the OHL’s Peterborough Petes and OJHL’s Lindsay Muskies.
5th Round, 156th Overall: Max McCue (F)
Seeing a pattern? McCue was the fourth player the Sharks selected out of the OHL and did not play this past season. In his rookie OHL season, McCue scored two goals and six points in 34 OHL games with the London Knights.
6th Round, 167th Overall: Liam Gilmartin (F)
Gilmartin spent the year with the U.S. National Team Development Program, where he had 13 goals and 35 points in 50 games. Additionally, the 6-foot-2 winger had seven goals and 15 points in 23 USHL games.
6th Round, 177th Overall: Theo Jacobsson (F)
Jacobsson is an undersized center who’s spent his entire career in Sweden thus far. He split the 2020-21 season between junior and professional hockey.
7th Round, 199th Overall: Yevgeni Kashnikov (D)
Kashnikov is a 6-foot-4 defenseman who split the season between playing junior hockey in Russia and playing in the QMJHL. He had 10 points in 22 MHL games this season, as well as five points in eight games with the Gatineau Olympiques.
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