Who experts believe Sharks will pick at No. 31 in NHL draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
This isn't exactly how the Sharks drew it up when they agreed to trade their 2020 first-round pick to the Ottawa Senators for Erik Karlsson. Had the Sharks kept the pick, they'd be selecting No. 3 overall after a season that saw them sink to the bottom of the league.
While the Senators own the Sharks' first-round pick, the Sharks were able to stay in the first round by acquiring the Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning's first-round pick in the trade that sent Barclay Goodrow to Tampa.
The Sharks will go on the clock at No. 31 and should have a number of options to replenish their prospect pool with top-tier talent. But who will be headed to the Bay?
Here's who the experts have the Sharks taking with the No. 31 overall pick:
Sean Leahy, Pro Hockey Talk: Roni Hirvonen, C, Assat (Liiga)
On Hiroven: "In their shoes, I would be looking at forwards such as Kasper Simontaival, Roni Hirvonen (both from Finland), Martin Chromiak, and Luke Evangelista (both from the OHL), and defenders Justin Barron and Ryan O’Rourke. Hirvonen has the most high level experience, having spent all of last season playing against men in Liiga. Simontaival’s shot is one of the best in the draft class. Chromiak and Evangelista play well-rounded games well-suited to an NHL middle six. Chromiak in particular is very young for this draft class and may have more room for continued growth than anyone. O’Rourke is a quiet defender who captained his OHL team at age 17 and has no real weak spots in his game. Barron is similar, but with both a higher ceiling and a lower floor, considering the time he missed with a blood clot last year and the recent procedure he underwent to try to complete his healing. With another pick coming up at 34, the Sharks can reasonably get two of these guys, with the Canadian based players being most likely to be available. As such, I will match them with Hirvonen, a smooth skating center with high end hockey IQ that will allow him to maximize his tools, even if he remains undersized."
Adam Kimelman, NHL.com: Tyson Foerster, RW, Barrie (OHL)
On Foerster: "Foerster announced himself with two goals and an assist in January at the CHL Top Prospects Game, but that was just one moment during a season that saw him score 36 goals in 62 games. Foerster's shot is the best part of his game, but he also knows how to use it to create space for himself and find open teammates with crisp passes. He would be a good fit for the Sharks, who tied for 27th in the NHL at 2.57 goals per game last season."
Mike Morreale, NHL.com: Lukas Reichel, LW, Eisbaren Berlin (GER)
On Reichel: "Reichel (6-0, 170) is a smart playmaker with good hands capable of getting to the right spots on the ice. He had 24 points (12 goals, 12 assists) and 70 shots on goal while averaging 12:58 of ice time in 42 games in the DEL last season. The nephew of former NHL forward Robert Reichel, Lukas had five points (three goals, two assists) in seven games for Germany at the 2020 WJC."
Guillaume Lepage, NHL.com: Thomas Bordeleau, C, USA U-18 (NTDP)
On Bordeleau: "After selecting a defenseman first the previous two drafts (Artemi Kniazev No. 48 in 2019, Ryan Merkley No. 21 in 2018), the Sharks will choose a forward this time. Bordeleau would give the Sharks a creative playmaker to add to their forward prospect pool."
Chris Peters, ESPN: Noel Gunler, RW, Lulea (Sweden)
On Gunler: "It might not be their original 2020 first-rounder -- the third overall pick -- but the Sharks do have a Day 1 selection. They are a team that will bet big on upside, and among the players remaining, nobody has more of that than Gunler. The Swedish winger has a lot of talent but has been wildly inconsistent over the course of his young career. San Jose has been rewarded for some of its big swings on players with great skill amid other flaws. With another pick coming up early in the second round, the Sharks might as well take another swing here."
Vincent Z. Mercogliano, USA Today: Tyson Foerster, RW
Lyle Richardson, Bleacher Report: Lukas Reichel
On Reichel: "Reichel had a solid debut in Germany's top professional league last season with 12 goals and 24 points in 42 games. The 18-year-old winger also tallied three goals and five points in seven games for Germany at the 2020 World Junior Championship.
Ranked 11th among European skaters, Reichel is an excellent skater and playmaker. He is a workhorse who checks well and makes smart plays. He also has good hockey genes; his uncle, Robert Reichel, played 830 games in the NHL."