Sharks draft Matthew Nieto with 47th pick


Sharks draft Matthew Nieto with 47th pick



ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Among the series of questions on Matthew Nietos online biography was his favorite NHL team: The Los Angeles Kings.

Makes sense. Before heading east to pursue his hockey career, Nieto grew up in southern California.

But that all changed late Saturday morning at Xcel Energy Center when the Sharks selected Nieto with 47th overall in the NHL Draft.

Those days are over, said Nieto, already outfitted in a Sharks cap and sweater. Im a Sharks fan now.

And the Sharks were fans of Nieto to the point that general manager Doug Wilson traded a 2012 third-round pick to Montreal in order to move up 12 spots in the second round.

Nietos selection started a busy day for the Sharks, who made headlines Friday by trading for Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns.
NEWS: Sharks trade Setoguchi, 28th pick to Wild

Including the deal to snag Nieto, Wilson made one other trade of picks with Winnipeg and ended the draft with six new players a left wing (Nieto), two defensemen and three centers.

Everybody says they did well at the end of the day, but 3-4 years from now, well know for sure, Wilson said. The guys we identified, we certainly went after and got so were pleased.

Wilsons day started by meeting with Burns and his wife less than 24 hours after shipping Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick to the Wild.

He seems very excited, as are we, Wilson said of his conversation with Burns.

Once back at the draft table, Wilson and his staff selected Nieto, defenseman Justin Sefton (No. 89), centers Sean Kuraly (No. 133) and Daniil Sobchenko (No. 166), defenseman Dylan Demelo (No. 179) and center Colin Blackwell (No. 194).

Nieto played his minor hockey in California until age 14 when he transferred to the Salisbury School in Connecticut and then to the USA Development Team in Michigan before playing last year at Boston University. He posted eight goals and 13 assists in 36 games for the Terriers.

We liked his hockey sense and compete factor, Wilson said. We think he fits into the type of player we want.
RATTO: Sharks get their top defenseman

Nieto intends to play at least one more year of college hockey.

If theyre in a good program, we have no problem with them staying, Wilson said.

Nieto credits the decision to leave home at an early age as a big part of his development.

Getting exposure out east, I thought it was important for me to do that, he said. But its nice being back in California to try and pursue a career.

Sefton is a solid 6-foot-2, 209 pounder who had 11 points and 166 penalty minutes last year for the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

Hes a big, physical kid, Wilson said.

The run on centers three in the last four picks began with Kuraly, a native of Dublin, Ohio who played for the United States Hockey Leagues Indiana Ice. He was eighth on the team with 29 points.

Kuraly said he will play for Indiana this year and then attend Miami (Ohio) University.

Im looking to fine tuning my offensive skill before getting to college, he said. Im working on the offensive side, the awareness, a little bit but I think I add character in the dressing room and can be a leader.

Kuraly was surprised San Jose called his name.

There were teams that I talked to more and a couple teams that I thought had more interest but passed, he said. San Jose talked to me a little bit, but not as much.

The next center was the Sharks lone non-North American pick the Urkanian-born Sobchenko, who could develop into a bruising pivot (6-2, 192). A bonus for Sobchenko is he played 16 games in the Kontinental Hockey League against older players.

After Demelo, who played for Mississauga St. Michaels of the OHL, the Sharks took one last center to wrap up the draft Massachusetts prep schooler Blackwell. He had 66 points and is headed to Harvard this fall.

Of taking three centers, Wilson said: Best player available. Thats what we do. We never waver from that approach.

Overall in the draft, defenseman led the way (72), followed by center (58) and left wing (31). Nieto, Kuraly and Blackwell were three of the 64 United States-born players drafted.

Couture expected back in Sharks lineup 'at some point'


Couture expected back in Sharks lineup 'at some point'

SAN JOSE – While a definitive timeline is still uncertain, Logan Couture is expected back in the Sharks’ lineup this season after taking a puck to the face and losing several teeth on Saturday in Nashville.

The center was set to undergo dental work on Monday, according to coach Pete DeBoer, who indicated that the injury was perhaps not quite as bad as it looked.

“You see him the next day, the swelling wasn’t as bad as we thought,” DeBoer said. “He’s seeing the dentist today, and going to have some dental work done. But, I think the initial prognosis is that we feel pretty fortunate that with the amount of damage compared to what it could have been.”

Joe Pavelski said that he’s “not a doctor,” but that he expects Couture back in the Sharks’ lineup "at some point."

“Oh, yeah. I don’t think that’s even not a consideration,” DeBoer said.

The Sharks have seven games remaining in the regular season, while the playoffs start in a little more than two weeks. Could Couture return before the postseason?

“I don’t know timeframe. He’s seeing the dentist today. We’ll see,” DeBoer said.

The Sharks are expected to offer an official update later on Monday.

Couture was set up just outside the crease in the third period of Saturday’s 7-2 loss in Nashville when a Brent Burns point shot late in the second period hit a stick before squarely smacking into the 27-year-old’s mouth. He quickly skated to the dressing room under his own power with just 14 seconds before the intermission.

Couture’s father, Chet, said on Twitter that it was “an ugly injury sadly."

Derek Carr issues statement about Raiders relocating to Vegas

Derek Carr issues statement about Raiders relocating to Vegas

The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas.

Shortly after the news was announced on Monday, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr posted the following message on Twitter:

"As I sit here and see a vote that takes the Raiders to Las Vegas, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I don't know how we should feel. I feel the pain of our fans in Oakland. I also see the joy on the faces of our new fans in Las Vegas.

"As players, we will show up and give everything we have. We will compete and we will do our best to bring a championship to the entire Raider Nation. While I am from California and would have loved playing in Oakland my whole career, I understand the business side of the NFL. It affects us all.

[RATTO: Raiders fans got remarkably little bang for their bucks, or for their hearts]

"Oakland, our team loves you, and my family and I love you! WE will be resilient and WE will stay together because that's what true Raiders do. WE are loyal, even when it's hard. WE stick together, especially when it's tough.

"So Las Vegas, you can count on us bringing a piece of Oakland with us and you are getting a tough, loyal, and competitive fan base and team. When the time comes, I hope you are ready.

"For now, it's about 2017 and our diehards in Oakland. God bless & Go Raiders!"

It's unclear where the Raiders will play before their new stadium is slated to open for the 2020 season.