FT. LAUDERDALE -– For the second time in three years, the Sharks gave up a valuable asset to move up just a few places in the NHL Entry Draft.
In 2013, a second round pick was surrendered to Detroit to move up just two places for defenseman Mirco Mueller. This year, San Jose gave up another second round pick in 2016 (and a sixth round selection in 2017) to jump up eight places to the 31st position, where it chose offensive defenseman Jeremy Roy.
According to general manager Doug Wilson, scouting director Tim Burke and the scouting staff loved Roy. Several other players they had high on their list went late in the first round, too, so dealing those picks to snag Roy was necessary.
“We liked him,” Burke said. “He’s a guy, you always think they’re going to go a little bit earlier. … He’s a kid that’s an all-around defenseman. He’s good with the puck, a smart player.”
Wilson said: “[The scouts] talked about [Roy] for a long time. … If there’s a guy you really, really want, you’ve got to go get him.”
The Sharks also followed through on their stated plan of adding to the organization’s depth at goaltender. New Hampshire native Michael Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder was their third round selection (89th overall), as they utilized the pick they received from Edmonton compensation for coach Todd McLellan.
John Kupsky, another American-born goalie from Wisconsin, was their final pick in the seventh round (193 overall). He’s even bigger than Robinson at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds.
Robinson, the eighth-ranked North American goalie by NHL Central Scouting, was apparently a target.
“They’re both big,” Burke said. “[Robinson is] a guy we had a lot of support on. He’s a kid that we probably thought he was going to go between 60-70, and we hung tight and got him. We were a little nervous. He’s got some developing to do. We’re excited about getting him.”
The Sharks had chosen just one goalie in their previous six drafts. Burke indicated it’s a tough position to project.
“I think you’ve got to get lucky. When there’s only 30 jobs, the failure rate is high,” he said. “If you take defensemen, there’s six defensemen. … To make it and play a lot of games, it’s tough for a goalie.”
Other draft selections include Adam Helewka (4th round, 106 overall), a scoring winger with Spokane (WHL); Karlis Cukste (5th round, 130 overall), a Latvian defenseman; Rudolfs Balcers (5th round, 142 overall), a Latvian left wing; Adam Parcells (6th round, 160 overall), a defenseman from Wisconsin; and Marcus Vela (7th round, 190 overall), a center out of British Columbia.
San Jose also acquired defenseman Patrick McNally from Vancouver in exchange for a late 7th round pick. Wilson seemed sincerely excited about getting the 23-year-old Harvard product that could jump straight to the pros, likely with the Barracuda.
“It is a sleeper acquisition,” Wilson said. “He had a bit of a [knee] injury last year. … We’re as excited about adding him as just about anybody.”