SAN JOSE’S ALL-TIME DRAFT TEAM: EXCELLENT EUROPEAN FLAVOUR

The Sharks have done an outstanding job scouting the European ranks and unearthing gems like Kiprusoff and Nabokov in the later rounds. San Jose’s all-draft squad is mighty on the cusp of 30

Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

San Jose’s all-time draft team has a very strong non-North American influence and it all starts between the pipes where Miikka Kiprusoff and Evgeni Nabokov platoon the crease. They were drafted a year apart in the mid-1990s and went on to have NHL careers that put them on the precipice of the Hall of Fame.

Kiprusoff is the only Finn on San Jose’s all-time draft squad and Nabokov is joined by centre Viktor Kozlov as the only Russians. But the 20-member squad is also made up of two Germans, two Czechs, two Swedes and a Latvian. Throw in nine Canadians and one American and the Sharks have a United Nations feel about them.

San Jose’s all-time draft squad is so well represented down the middle that we decided to move Sharks legend Patrick Marleau to the left wing, where he has spent some time due to the presence of Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture the past decade. That bumps the ageless Ray Whitney to the second line. We opted to make Couture the No. 1 centre ahead of Pavelski even though the latter has a longer tenure and better numbers because Little Joe did that for a long time behind Big Joe. It was a tough call for fourth-line pivot, but we showed recency bias in giving Tomas Hertl a slight edge over Nick Bonino and Charlie Coyle.

The Sharks have only been around since 1991. This year’s draft will be their 30th. There’s room for growth on the right wing, but Milan Michalek and Jonathan Cheechoo had some high-ended seasons even if their careers were stunted in their late 20s.

The blue line is very solid on San Jose’s all-time draft team with stay-at-home stalwarts Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Scott Hannan and Marcus Ragnarsson balancing the offensive exploits of Sandis Ozolinsh, Brad Stuart and Christian Ehrhoff.

Information includes draft year, draft position, amateur team and NHL stats (games-goals-assists-points; W-L-OTL, GAA, SP)

CENTRE

Logan Couture – 2007, 9th overall, Ottawa (OHL) (715-256-290-546)

Joe Pavelski – 2003, 205th overall, Waterloo (USHL) (1,030-369-423-792)

Viktor Kozlov – 1993, 6th overall, Dynamo (Rus.) (897-198-339-537)

Tomas Hertl – 2012, 17th overall, Prague (Cze.) (453-132-148-280)

LEFT WING

Patrick Marleau – 1997, 2nd overall, Seattle (WHL) (1,723-562-626-1,188)

Ray Whitney – 1991, 23rd overall, Spokane (WHL) (1,330-385-679-1,064)

Marco Sturm – 1996, 21st overall, Landshut (Ger.) (938-242-245-487)

Jeff Friesen – 1994, 11th overall, Regina (WHL) (893-218-298-516)

RIGHT WING

Milan Michalek – 2003, 6th overall, Budejovice (Cze.) (747-208-238-446)

Jonathan Cheechoo – 1998, 29th overall, Belleville (OHL) (501-170-135-305)

Mikael Samuelsson – 1998, 145th overall, Sodertalje (Swe.) (699-149-197-346)

Shean Donovan – 1993, 28th overall, Ottawa (OHL) (951-112-129-241)

DEFENCE

M-E Vlasic – 2005, 35th overall, Quebec (QMJHL) (1,035-72-254-326)

Sandis Ozolinsh – 1991, 30th overall, Dynamo Riga (Lat.) (875-167-397-564)

Brad Stuart – 1998, 3rd overall, Regina (WHL) (1,056-80-255-335)

Christian Ehrhoff – 2001, 106th overall, Krefeld (Ger.) (789-74-265-339)

Scott Hannan – 1997, 23rd overall, Kelowna (WHL) (1,055-38-179-217)

Marcus Ragnarsson – 1992, 99th overall, Djurgarden (Swe.) (632-37-140-177)

GOALIES

Miikka Kiprusoff – 1995, 116th overall, Turku (Fin.) (319-213-71, 2.49, .912)

Evgeni Nabokov – 1994, 219th overall, Kamenogorsk (Rus.) (353-227-86, 2.44, .911)