Jun 27, 2024

About Nolly: Nick Nollenberger aka "Nolly" has been the voice of the Barracuda since 2016-17. Over his time with the team, the Santa Curz, Ca. native and San Jose Jr. Sharks alum, has called over 500 games and made his NHL regular-season debut with the Sharks on Nov. 17, 2024 at Anaheim, filling in for the Hall of Famer Dan Rusanowsky.

Hello, Cuda Country! Can you believe hockey season is officially over? Well, kinda. While the NHL and AHL crowned champions on Monday, the next two weeks are arguably the busiest in the sport. Starting with the highly anticipated NHL draft on Friday and Saturday at the Vegas Sphere.


Dan Rusanowsky, Drew Remenda, Ted Ramey and I will be providing live draft coverage on the Sharks Audio Network beginning on Friday at 3:30 p.m. PT. On July 4, next Thursday, the Sharks will host their annual Prospect Scrimmage at Tech CU Arena. Drew and I will be broadcasting the game. More details on how to listen and watch will be provided early next week.


The Sharks added another second-round pick on Tuesday when they acquired defenseman Jake Walman and a second-rounder (53rd overall, Tampa Bay’s selection) from Detroit for future considerations. The deal gives the Wings some cap relief while the Sharks add another pick and a 28-year-old blueliner who set career-highs in goals (12) and points (21) last season. Did I mention Walman is a pretty good dancer too?


Earlier today (Thursday) the Sharks dealt #42 overall to the Buffalo Sabres to move from 14 to 11. An interesting exchange the day before the draft but it makes you think the brass wanted to leapfrog both the Flyers and Wild for a specific player. The Sharks also made another trade, sending defender Kyle Burroughs to the Kings for forward Carl Grundstrom.


My brother asked me this week what exactly future considerations mean. A good explanation can be found HERE.


With the addition of the extra pick in the Walman deal, and the subsequent trade of another this morning with Buffalo, the Sharks now hold two second-round selections (33 and 53) and four picks in the top 60 (1, 14, 33, 53).


Beyond the Walman add and the addition of Grundstrom, Sharks GM Mike Grier has been very active over the last couple of weeks. He traded for former first-rounder Ty Dellandrea from Dallas, claimed Barclay Goodrow off waivers, and on Sunday sent Ozzy Wiesblatt to Nashville for forward Egor Afanasyev (Pronounced: Aff-uh-naw-see-ev).


If you recall, Wiesblatt was loaned to the Predators AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, back in March. The Preds org had a chance to see him in the flesh and they clearly liked him enough to deal a player in Afanasyev who led the Ads in points (54) and goals (27). It’s not every day you see teammates traded for one another. Sometimes a fresh start is the best route for a player, and both will get it with their new clubs. Ozzy was a great kid who worked his tail off. For being undersized, he wasn’t scared to stick his nose in any situation. Unfortunately, his offense never quite got going and he found himself playing a bottom-six role. Afanasyev was drafted the year before Wiesblatt, 45th overall, 14 picks after Wiesblatt was taken (31st overall). The Russian forward has great size (6-4/212) and he's just 23-years-old. A year ago, he played 17 games with the playoff-bound-Preds, scoring one goal. I think there's a chance he can make the Sharks, but if he ends up playing mostly in the AHL like he did last year, the Barracuda have a bonafide sniper in their lineup.


It's pretty clear who the Sharks will pick at #1 overall on Friday but there are varying opinions on who they will take at #11 and beyond. While experts think the Sharks will go defense with their second first-round pick, Grier told the media earlier this week it would be best player available. This draft is expected to be wildly unpredictable after the first pick. And to be honest, I’m a novice when it comes to the NHL draft after the top players are selected. If we’re talking the NFL draft, that’s a whole different story. When you’re a fan of a team like the Browns who annually picked in the top 10 for two decades, you become an expert of sorts. As you could imagine, I don’t have much time to watch players outside the NHL and AHL. With the help of a draft simulator, my seven-round mock can be found below. For context, I tried to pick a variety of skill sets, with some commonalities. Big and mobile were a theme but I also went with more sure things at different picks (high floor players, low ceiling) and boom or bust (high ceiling, low floor) at other points. Grier also said he’d like to get a goalie in the draft after missing out last year. In a not-so-deep goalie draft, Mikhail Yegorov has been pegged by many experts as the best of the bunch. His numbers weren’t great in the USHL last season, but he was on a last-place Omaha Lancers team so it was hard to evaluate.


  1. 1st overall - Macklin Celbrini, C
  2. 11th overall - Adam Jiicek, RD
  3. 33rd overall - Charlie Elick, RD
  4. 53rd overall - John Mustard, LW/C
  5. 85th overall - Mikhail Yegorov, G
  6. 116th overall - Jakub Fibigr, LD
  7. 131st overall - Tanner Adams, RW
  8. 143rd overall - Logan Crosby, RW
  9. 194th overall - Jack Bodin, RD


Congratulations to the Hershey Bears, 2024 Calder Cup Champions. The AHL's most storied franchise captured its 13th title on Monday, repeating as league champions. The Coachella Valley Firebirds had a 2-1 series lead before dropping three in a row, falling for the second consecutive year to the Bears. It officially marks the end of the Dan Bylsma era in Palm Desert as the head coach of the Firebirds now moves on to the NHL's Seattle Kraken. It may also be the end of Todd Nelson behind the bench in Hershey, the now 3x Calder Cup-winning coach has been linked to the Blue Jackets vacancy. With Coachella Valley's loss, the Pacific Division has still yet to claim an AHL title since its inception in 2015.


A congratulations is also in order for the Florida Panthers, 2024 Stanley Cup Champions. And congratulations to former Sharks Jonah Gadjovich and Steven Lorentz on lifting the sport's greatest trophy. Anthony Stolarz (Gulls), Brandon Montour (Gulls), Josh Mahura (Gulls), Tobias Bjornfot (Reign/Silver Knights), and Ryan Lomberg (Stockton Heat), all AHL-Pacific Division alums were also on the Panthers. The Barracuda faced the Charlotte Checkers this season, Florida's AHL affiliate, so we saw a handful of players begin in the AHL and ultimately help hoist Lord Stanley.


Our last congratulations goes to former Shark Jeremy Roenick who was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Patrick Marleau was not selected in his first year of eligibility but it's only a matter of time before he too gets the call. Roenick who had been on the ballot since 2012, played with the Sharks from 2007-09, the final two seasons of his 20-year NHL career. He notched 46 points in 111 regular-season games in San Jose and six points in 18 playoff games.


I've been banking a handful of podcast interviews so keep an eye out for them over the coming weeks. In case you missed it, check out my latest conversation with recently signed d-man Braden Hache.


That will do it for this edition of Nolly’s Notes. Thanks for reading and we’ll talk to you after development camp.

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