Defenseman Justin Barron could potentially be on the San Jose Sharks’ radar this coming June in the 2020 NHL Draft, so let’s take a look at him.
At 18-years-old, defenseman Justin Barron could be on the San Jose Sharks‘ draft board for this year’s 2020 NHL Draft.
Going into this season, Barron was arguably the best defenseman in this year’s class and was considered a first-round prospect. He racked up 41 points (nine goals, 32 assists) with a plus/minus of +42 in 68 games for the Halifax Mooseheads of the WHL.
However, this season was a rough one for Barron.
When the season first started he was struggling and was eventually diagnosed with a blood clot that caused him to miss three months of action. When Barron returned, he seemed more comfortable on the ice but still wasn’t the same defenseman from 2018-19.
In 34 games this season, Barron scored 19 points (four goals, 15 assists) and had a plus/minus of -15. Instead of taking a step forward, Barron regressed. However, the Mooseheads regressed as well, as they lost several key players to the draft last summer.
With an overview of Barron’s stats for the last two seasons given, let’s take a look at his strengths and weaknesses.
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At 6-foot-2, 192 pounds, Barron is a good-sized defenseman that has very good skating ability. He’s a very good passer, especially when it comes to the first/breakout pass.
His ability to pass also allows him to distribute the puck quite nicely while at the point in the offensive zone. Along with his passing at the point, Barron also comes with a big, heavy shot.
When it comes to the defensive side of the game, Barron is one of the best. He’s very good at taking care of his own zone before pursuing the puck. With his size, he’s not afraid to get physical and lay down a big hit.
Barron’s defensive-potential is quite good, but his offensive upside is lacking. He needs top-notch talent around him to put up points. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a smart player that makes the right play. But, he’s not the defenseman to jump up on a play and make an amazing pass or move to score.
Having a blood clot really hurt Barron’s draft stock. He went from a potential first-round pick and arguably the best defenseman in the class to a second-round prospect.
Having a blood clot at such a young age may worry some general managers, as people who have blood clots tend to get more. So his future health may be an issue.
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San Jose Sharks Prediction
Ranked No. 33 by Future Considerations, No. 23 by ISS Hockey, No. 16 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters), and No. 70 by eliteprospects.com, Barron is poised to going no earlier than the second round.
With the Sharks having two second-round picks this year and two of their top defensemen (Marc-Edouard Vlasic, 33-years-old, and Brent Burns, 35-years-old) getting up there in age, they could be looking to add a young defenseman through the draft.
With picks 34 and 58, the Sharks could draft Barron at 34 if he’s there, trade up from 58 if they don’t take him at 34 but feel like he won’t be there at 58, or even trade back from 34 to gain more draft capital in an attempt to fill more holes through the draft in one of the deepest classes in recent memory.
Overall, I could see the Sharks taking Barron in the second round. They have a good history of picking defensemen in the second round, including Vlasic and most recently Mario Ferraro.
However, if the Sharks do draft Barron, don’t expect him in the NHL right away. He’ll most likely have to spend at least a season in the AHL sharpening his skills.