San Jose Sharks: 6 prospects to look forward to in the near future

San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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San Jose Sharks
San Jose Sharks (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images) /

1. Ryan Merkley

Drafted 21st overall in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Ryan Merkley got passed up before falling to the Sharks.

A high-risk, high-reward player similar to Brent Burns, his frustrations after making bad decisions deterred many teams, including being left off the Canadian national team for the world junior tournament.

Merkley currently plays for the London Knights in the OHL with 68 points on the year. At 19, plenty of development remains for Merkley, who will likely jump to the AHL next season. He appeared in six games last year for the Barracuda, which included the AHL Playoffs.

In his first training Sharks’ training camp, Merkley showed he could make plays, but get caught in bad spots which saw opponents cashing in during the preseason.

Unless Merkley finds some way to channel what Marc-Edouard Vlasic did to earn a place out of training camp, a year with the Barracuda is in store for him.

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2. Nick DeSimone

A defenseman who fell in the pecking order of defenseman for the Barracuda, Nick DeSimone had competed in training camp last year alongside Radim Simek for the sixth/seventh defender to join the Sharks.

After finishing with 46 points last season, production dropped for DeSimone, currently with 14 points through 40 games on the Barracuda. His plus/minus rating is not great at minus-13, being on the ice for goals against his team.

Perhaps only a transition with the Barracuda going young, but DeSimone is one likely candidate to play in a game this year for the Sharks if he can turn his fortunes around.

DeSimone must have a strong training camp next season to get consideration for the seventh spot ahead of Jacob Middleton.