Sharks Continue to Battle for the Bottom of the Standings

The San Jose Sharks were the first team eliminated from playoff contention in the 2022-23 season. Although there were a few bright spots, notably the return to form of Erik Karlsson, this season has largely been a failure across the board. The Sharks were more or less forced to part ways with Timo Meier due to the team’s inability to succeed, young players were kept in the American Hockey League to spare them, and there were plenty more various failures. However, one potential hope for the Sharks as the season winds is a chance at Connor Bedard.

Related: Erik Karlsson Content to Remain in San Jose

Currently, the Sharks sit at the bottom of the standings, and they are the only team who has yet to reach 20 wins on the season. While being the worst team in the NHL is normally nothing to celebrate, this year looks a bit different because of the generational talent projected to go first overall in the draft. With that said, the Sharks will have tough competition if they want to get Bedard.

Bedard Could Save the Sharks

Now that the Western Hockey League (WHL) has completed its season, Bedard has finished his final pre-draft season in juniors. Through 57 games, he put up 71 goals and 72 assists for a total of 143 points. What makes this feat even more shocking is the fact that he managed to outscore Connor McDavid’s point totals from the year before he was drafted. Granted, McDavid played 10 fewer games, but Bedard managed to score 23 more points in those 10 extra games. Clearly, he has cemented his place as a world-altering talent.

Connor Bedard Regina Pats
Connor Bedard, Regina Pats (Keith Hershmiller / Regina Pats)

For the Sharks, the ability to add someone as talented as Bedard could change the entire direction of the franchise. While the past few drafts have brought very talented players to the NHL, no one since McDavid or Auston Matthews comes anywhere close to the talent that Bedard possesses. If they manage to get him, it could accelerate the rebuilding process substantially in a very short period of time.

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With all that said, the Sharks would still have to develop their roster alongside Bedard if they want to win a Stanley Cup anytime soon. It took many seasons for the Edmonton Oilers to make a real Stanley Cup run because of their inability to provide McDavid and Leon Draisaitl support. However, before that conversation can even matter, the Sharks have to secure the first-overall pick in the draft. If they want that, though, they are going to have to “fight” for it.

Everyone Wants to Draft Bedard

Although the Sharks are at the bottom of the standings, it is a very close race. Currently, the Columbus Blue Jackets are tied with them in points, and the Chicago Blackhawks sit only one point behind the two of them. The Anaheim Ducks are also making their push, as they sit three points away from the bottom. With around 10 games left for each of these teams, it’s anyone’s guess who will end up with the best odds at Bedard.

San Jose Sharks Celebration
San Jose Sharks celebrate a goal (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Despite what the current general managers of the Arizona Coyotes and Blackhawks would make it seem like, NHL players do not tank. They go out on the ice and fight for a win every single night. With that in mind, it is very possible that any of the clubs close to the bottom go on a spontaneous winning streak and pull far ahead of the bottom of the league. However, if each of the bottom teams continues to lose, it’s going to be an all-out brawl to get Bedard. Time will tell who will come out on top…or at the bottom, I suppose.

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