June 24, 2011SHARKS PAGE SHARKSVIDEO
ST. PAUL, Minn. Sharks general manager Doug Wilson let the hockey world know Friday that making the Western Conference finals two consecutive years is not enough.
Scheduled to select 28th overall in the first round of the NHL Draft at Xcel Energy Center, Wilson pulled off the blockbuster deal of the night, acquiring defenseman Brent Burns from the Minnesota Wild in a three-player, two-draft pick trade.
Coming to San Jose is Burns and a 2012 second-round pick and going to Minnesota is forward Devin Setoguchi (who signed a three-year, 9 million pact on Thursday), 2010 first-round pick Charlie Coyle and their first round pick in this draft.
Its a very important window for us with the ages of our guys, Wilson said. Weve had back-to-back years in the final four and were not satisfied. We feel this makes us a better team today.
NEWS: Sharks sign Setoguchi to three-year deal
The Sharks entered the off-season knowing they needed an infusion of youth and talent along the blue line and they feel Burns fills the need hes young (25), big (6-foot-5, 219 pounds) and has offensive skill (46 points last year).
Burns will make 4 million in the final year of his contract.
When you dont win, you make changes; the Bruins won and will make changes thats the way the business is set up, coach Todd McLellan said. The past few years, we felt we were maybe not as strong on the blue line as we needed to be when all was said and done.
Said Wilson: I might be biased but defenseman is the most important position on the team.
When commissioner Gary Bettman announced the trade, Wild fans reacted with equal parts gasps, cheers and boos. Burns played all 453 games of his NHL career in Minnesota.
RATTO: Sharks get their top-class defenseman
Wilson said the trade didnt come out of nowhere, but the consummation of the deal came together very quickly today. He was engaged in talks with Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher throughout the day.
There arent many players that have his size and skating ability and skill set and when they do, and a team lets you know theyre available, you have to act quickly, Wilson said.
Burns transition to the Sharks should be made more seamless since hes been coached by McLellan and assistant coach Matt Shaw.
Weve had the opportunity to be around him as he developed and there are a number of really good qualities, McLellan said. One, he played for Jacques Lemaire and he does understand the defensive game. Theres a strong game there. Two, hes a very passionate player. He has an energy about him. And the third thing, for his size, is he moves around the ice well.
I dont think hes come near his potential. I say that at both ends of the rink. I think he can be better defensively and offensively. Its exciting to have him. I hope hes going to be excited about a fresh start.
The Wild hope Setoguchi sparks an offense that had the fewest shots on goal in the NHL last year. He has three straight 20-goal seasons and was traded a day after signing his deal. Wilson said he wasnt re-signed with the intention of immediately flipping him to Minnesota.
The signing of Devin was not based on this deal, it was based on how we feel about him as a player, Wilson said. Hes a very tough player to give up but you do have to give to get this type of player.
Said McLellan: Devin is a tremendous player and the Wild will be happy with him. He has a speed element and a shot and scoring potential and hes probably in the same range of Burns in his development there is uncapped potential that may come out in the future.
The draft wraps up Saturday and San Jose has five picks.
There are some players our guys have evaluated, Wilson said. We may pick up a couple more picks between now and then. We have to make sure we keep on replenishing our pipeline.
As expected, Edmonton chose center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins first overall, making him the first native of British Columbia to go No. 1. He joins youngsters Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle as the core of the Oilers rebuilding effort.
Its a huge relief and it feels awesome to be picked by them, Nugent-Hopkins said. I can definitely learn a lot from the all the young guys. They have such a talented group of young guys, too. Its going to be great to join that group.
Colorado, hours after trading veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles to Toronto, bypassed Swedish blue-liner Adam Larsson for another Swede Gabriel Landeskog, who could be in the Avalanche lineup as soon as this year.
Rounding out the top five were Jonathan Huberdeau to Florida, Adam Larsson to New Jersey and Ryan Strome to the Islanders.
The first reach was by the new Winnipeg Jets, who formally announced their newold nickname before making the pick. The choice was center Mark Scheifele, who was ranked No. 16 among North American skaters by Central Scouting.
Following a run of six defensemen in seven picks, the Rangers at No. 15 chose the first American winger J.T. Miller. He was also a reach (ranked No. 23).