Even though they hired a veteran head coach in Peter DeBoer — who, upon taking the job, said his expectation is to “win right now” — the San Jose Sharks don’t sound as though they’ll be entertaining offers for the ninth overall pick at this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
“The strength of this draft year, it impacted some of our decisions this season,” GM Doug Wilson said, per NHL.com. “We were not going to move our first-round pick regardless.
“The chance to add a high-end quality player [in the draft] was not something we were going to compromise on.”
While this approach fits with the “tomorrow team” label Wilson put on his team prior to last season, there was some thought the Sharks could have altered their philosophy, largely based on what DeBoer said upon being introduced in late May.
“I think if you enter the San Jose Sharks organization, like I am as the head coach, the expectation is to win right now,” he said. “Regardless of the ages or the birth certificates of the players, there’s a tradition here of winning and of challenging to go deep into the playoffs. That’s my expectation. I think that’s [GM Doug Wilson’s] expectation, and I don’t think anyone’s looking for anything less than that here.”
DeBoer then predicted a “big bounce-back” for the Sharks after they missed the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. That belief is based partly on a veteran core group of players — Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Brent Burns, and Marc-Edouard Vlasic — who will (presumably) return next season, and not so they can be part of a rebuild.
But even with that core group in place, Wilson was adamant he wants to stockpile future talent at what’s expected to be one of the deepest drafts in recent memory.
“We see it as a very good draft,” Wilson said. “It was forecast as a good draft and it’s playing out that way.”