The San Jose Sharks and new general manager Mike Grier traded the No. 11 overall pick that they originally held in the first round of the NHL Draft in Montreal to the Arizona Coyotes for one pick later in the first round, and two picks in the second round.
By trading the No. 11 overall selection, the Sharks now have overall picks No. 27, 34, and 45.
The Coyotes used the No. 11 pick on center Conor Geekie.
The Sharks now hold 11 draft picks this year. They had a combined 18 picks the last two seasons, using those selections on 14 forwards, including first-round selections Ozzy Wiesblatt in 2020 and William Eklund last year, three defensemen, and one goalie.
Sharks assistant general manager Joe Will hinted last week that there might be some movement in the first round and that the No. 11 pick might be in play.
“When you have the No. 11 pick, It’s an asset that you can use to make your team better in many different ways,” Will said. “We’re focused on the goal that we do need to replenish with younger players, and that doesn’t mean it’s a younger player in this draft. It could be a younger player that perhaps is part of something that fits within our winning cycle.
“Using that pick in a huge deal that changes the trajectory is more unlikely, but moving up, moving down, staying within the range of young players, I would say anything’s possible. Why wouldn’t we look at everything that’s on the table?”
The draft resumes Friday morning at 8 am (PT) with rounds two through seven. As of now, the Sharks also hold one third-round pick (No. 76), one in the fourth round (No. 108), two in the fifth round (nos. 138 and 140), one in the sixth round (No. 172) and three in the seventh round (nos. 195, 204 and 217).
“Most teams will tell you they’re looking at hockey sense, speed, adaptability, playmaking. They’re going to tell you a lot of different things,” Sharks assistant general manager Tim Burke said last week.
“Then you’ve always got to balance out your depth chart. But it’s different for every team. But obviously, skating and hockey sense are critical things. If a guy can really think the game when he’s got speed, that’s a good start.”
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman began the event by asking the crowd at the Bell Center for a standing moment of silence for Bryan Marchment, who died unexpectedly Wednesday in the city as the Sharks were finalizing preparations for the draft.
Marchment, 53, played for nine NHL teams, and his death on the eve of the draft shook the league. Fellow teams throughout the night also offered their condolences to the Marchment family and the Sharks.
Marchment, a fierce defenseman who played in the NHL for 17 seasons, played five-plus seasons with the Sharks and was in his 15th year as a scout and development coach with the team.
Sharks general manager Mike Grier, officially hired only a few days ago, gave the Sharks staff time off from their preparations to grievance and Marchment’s sudden passing process, before they returned to work.
“I know Mush — that’s what he would say,” Grier said Wednesday. “He would want us to get back to work and do our best and have the best draft possible, so we’ll get back to work.”
Please check back for updates to this developing story.