With the 19th Pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft the San Jose Sharks Have Selected Josh Norris From the U.S. National U18 Team.
About Josh Norris
Expected to go in the mid- to late-second round, Josh Norris was taken with the 19th overall pick by the San Jose Sharks. A talented center in the U.S. Development Program, Norris is quick and talented with a great hockey IQ. He sees the ice well and can thread the needle on the move.
— NHL (@NHL) June 24, 2017
With the USNT U18 program, he scored 61 points (27 goals and 34 assists) in 61 games. On top of that, he put up a point per game at the U18 World Junior Championship where he represented – obviously – the United States.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt:
The No. 1 center and alternate captain for the U.S. National Team Development Program during 2016-17, Josh Norris strung together a collection of consistent performances, totaling 60 points in 61 games. Described as a high-energy, two-way forward, Norris solidified his status as a high-end NHL prospect.
Responsible on the offensive and defensive ends of the ice, Norris’ skating ability helps separate himself from the pack. Reaching his top gear within his first few steps, Norris is capable of creating space with lateral and change-of-pace moves and a high hockey IQ. Armed with a dangerous shot and grit, Norris makes his presence felt when forechecking opponents, creating turnovers, puck handling and finding open spaces for scoring chances.
Norris is committed to play for the University of Michigan next season. The U-M campus is about an hour drive from his home in Oxford, Michigan.
Norris can play a finesse game, remaining patient while he carries the puck and searches for passing lanes, and he can play a physical game, going hard into corners to retrieve loose pucks and defending his team’s zone with in-your-face tenacity.
NHL scouts contend if Norris continues leading by example, he could develop into a trusted, two-way player at the next level.
Norris’ father, Dwayne, was a former NHLer who also played professionally in Germany and starred at Michigan State University.
How This Affects the San Jose Sharks’ Plans
The Sharks will be looking to get younger in the coming years and locking up a young center like Norris will help in that department. We’ve seen how important it is to develop starting from the draft and Norris is a prime example of the pieces that teams should look for when a rebuild isn’t too far down the road.
He’s not among their top five prospects at this point, but Norris has a chance to play in the NCAA next season and should gain some great experience from that and moving forward in the Sharks organization.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.