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Sharks Draft Weekend: Europe First

(Originally published at Sports Radio Service)

The San Jose Sharks were busy on NHL Draft weekend, starting with something of a European focus.

The team announced on Friday that they had added popular former Shark Niklas Sundstrom to their European scouting staff. In the announcement, GM Doug Wilson said:

“One of Nicky’s strongest assets has always been his hockey sense, which is off the charts,” said Wilson. “We are excited to add Nicky’s insight and abilities to our talented scouting group and welcome him back to the Sharks family.”

In that same vein, the Sharks’ first three draft picks were all from overseas. The Sharks traded their 20th and 179th picks for Chicago’s 27th and 62nd.

With that 27th pick, San Jose chose Russian born right wing Nikolay Goldobin. Goldobin spent last season with the OHL’s Sarnia, where he earned 94 points in 67 games. That was good for seventh in the league.

Early Saturday, the Sharks traded their 51st pick and a 2015 fourth rounder for the 46th pick from the Nashville Predators. they used that to acquire Swedish defenseman Julius Bergman. In the Swedish Junior League last season, he recorded 34 points and 54 penalty minutes in 45 games. He was ranked 19th among European skaters by Central Scouting.

With their 53rd pick, the Sharks chose Swiss right wing Noah Rod. In the Swiss Junior League last season, Rod earned 37 points and 51 penalty minutes in 31 games. In 28 games with the Swiss top league, he scored a goal and two assists.

Returning to North America, the Sharks have re-signed Travis Oleksuk to a one year contract. Oleksuk was voted the “Unsugn Hero” of the Worcester Sharks last season. He finished last season with 40 points and 20 penalty minutes in 74 games. Oleksuk is not European. He is from Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The Sharks used a third round pick acquired from Nashville to select Alex Schoenborn. The North Dakotan forward spent last season with the WHL’s Portland, earning 36 points and 121 penalty minutes in 72 games.

With a second third round pick, the Sharks selected Dylan Sadowy. Of Sadowy, the Sharks said:

The five-foot-eleven, 183-pound left wing recorded 36 points (27-9=36) and 69 penalty minutes in 68 games with Saginaw. Sadowy was Saginaw’s nominee for the 2013-14 Ontario Hockey League Most Outstanding Player of the Year after leading the team with 27 goals.

In the fourth round, the Sharks selected QMJHL defenseman Alexis Vanier from Baie-Comeau. At six-foot-four, 215 pounds, Vanier finished last season tied for first among the team’s blueliners in goals and second in points.

In the fifth round, the Sharks chose center Rourke Chartier 149th. Ranked 136th among North-American skaters by Central Scouting, Chartier finished last season with 58 points and 8 penalty minutes in 72 games.

The Sharks used their final pick to select Brooklyn native Kevin Labanc 171st overall. Labanc played with Barrie of the OHL last season, posting 35 points and 30 penalty minutes in 65 games. He was a member of the Team USA that won a silvermedal at the 2013 U-18 World Junior Championship.

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