One of the unfortunate aspects of the NHL Draft is that not every pick is guaranteed to make it to the NHL. It all depends on how well the players selected by general managers end up developing. However, the San Jose Sharks came out of their 2013 draft quite poorly – to this day, only one of their picks from that draft class, Mirco Mueller, has played an NHL game. Today, we’ll take a look at the players the Sharks selected in the 2013 draft, where they are now, and which notable players were selected after them.
As mentioned, Mueller is the only 2013 Sharks draft selection that has played in an NHL regular-season game. The Sharks traded up to select the Switzerland native with the 18th overall pick. Mueller had just made his way to North America the previous season after being selected 11th overall by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips in the CHL Import Draft.
Interestingly brought up to the professional level in 2014 after only two seasons in Everett, Mueller played 39 games in his rookie season for the Sharks, scoring a goal and tallying three assists. Unfortunately, this would be the peak of his tenure in the teal. He spent the majority of the next two seasons in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda, but would play a few games for the Sharks here and there before being traded to the New Jersey Devils in the 2017 offseason, where he continues to play.
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To make matters of this pick worse, the picks that the Sharks traded to the Red Wings to select Mueller turned out to be Anthony Mantha and Tyler Bertuzzi, who are both having solid careers in Detroit.
Gabryel Boudreau had a 63-point season in his rookie season with the QMJHL’s Baie-Comeau Drakkar, which was evidently enough for the Sharks to select him with their second-round pick. However, Boudreau’s production in the junior league suffered since his rookie year– enough for the Sharks to end up not signing him to an entry-level contract. He played in two Barracuda playoff games on an amateur tryout contract (ATO), but never appeared for the Barracuda, or the Sharks for that matter, again.
Boudreau played in 12 games for the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones before moving back to Quebec, his home province, where he currently plays for the Jonquiere Marquis of the Ligue Nord-Americane de Hockey, a semi-pro league based in Quebec. Some notable players that were drafted after Boudreau in the second round include Zach Sanford, Artturi Lehkonen, and William Carrier.
The Sharks’ next pick came in the fourth round, selecting Swedish goaltender Fredrik Bergvik from Frolunda HC’s under-20 team. Hockey’s Future described him as an “average-sized butterfly goalie” with “solid rebound control for a player his age.” Bergvik spent most of 2013-14 with the Frolunda under-20 team, but did play one game for the senior team.
However, Bergvik couldn’t end up cracking the Frolunda senior team full-time, and ended up being loaned to Mora IK of the Allsvenskan, Sweden’s second-tier hockey league. After posting middling stats including a 3.72 GAA and an .879 SV%, the Sharks opted not to sign him, and he has stayed in Sweden since. Bergvik currently plays for Sodertalje SK in the Allsvenskan.
The Sharks opted to add on to their defensive depth chart with their next pick, selecting Michael Brodzinski with their fifth-round pick. Brodzinski was drafted out of the USHL, having just finished his first full season with the Muskegon Lumberjacks in which he put up 16 goals and 17 assists. Brodzinski then committed to the University of Minnesota, where he played for three years, recording 13, 14, and 21 points. Brodzinski was rewarded for his 21-point performance in his junior year with an entry-level contract.
However, Brodzinski couldn’t find his footing at the professional level, splitting time with the Barracuda and the Sharks’ then-ECHL affiliate Allen Americans. After only playing one game for the Barracuda in the 2018-19 season, the Sharks decided not to tender him a qualifying offer. Ironically, Michael’s older brother, Jonny Brodzinski, was drafted seven picks later by the Los Angeles Kings and is now a Shark himself.
Exactly 10 picks after Brodzinski, the Sharks would take another defenseman with the 151st overall pick in Gage Ausmus. Ausmus was a product of the USA Hockey National Team Development Program (USNTDP), putting up 14 points in 66 games with the under-18 team. Hockey’s Future described Ausmus as a “defensive defenseman that plays with a bit of sandpaper.” He then committed to the University of North Dakota the following season, where he became captain in 2016-17.
Ausmus, however, never ended up receiving an entry-level contract as the Sharks let his rights expire. Ausmus now plays for the Utah Grizzlies in the ECHL. It certainly gets a little harder to nit-pick draft selections in the later rounds, but the next pick in the draft was Josh Brown, who has turned into a serviceable defenseman with the Florida Panthers.
Jake Jackson and Emil Galimov
When the seventh and final round of the NHL draft rolls around, it can be sometimes difficult for teams to find players with genuine promise and potential – they often end up taking fliers on players instead. This proved true with the Sharks’ selections of Maplewood, MN native Jake Jackson with the 201st pick and Emil Galimov with the 207th pick. Jackson was a high-school prospect out of Tartan High in Minnesota and Galimov was selected from Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL.
Jackson committed to Michigan Tech in 2015-16 after he went up north to play for the Nanaimo Clippers for the British Columbia Hockey League. However, after only being able to eclipse 20 points once in his college tenure, the Sharks did not offer him an entry-level contract, but he was able to secure a PTO for the Barracuda, and played in one preseason game for them. Jackson currently plays for the Utah Grizzlies, alongside the aforementioned Ausmus.
Galimov, however, has stayed in the KHL since he got drafted, and continued to play for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl until 2016-17. He signed a contract with KHL giants SKA St. Petersburg for the 2020-21 season and will play alongside fellow Sharks draft pick Yegor Spiridonov. Interestingly, the Sharks still own Galimov’s rights, but with him having just turned 28, it’s hard to believe he’ll get an NHL contract at this point.
Some Final Thoughts
The Sharks’ gamble of rushing Mirco Mueller to the professional level did not end up paying off for them. Mueller was projected to be a late first to second-round pick, so there’s a solid chance that if the Sharks chose not to trade up that he would have still been on the board. However, it does appear that they have learned their lesson from rushing their defensive prospects, choosing to take their time with Ryan Merkley.
I can’t really fault the late-round picks in this particular draft, judging by how most of the other players that were selected in that range didn’t really pan out either. However, the Mueller and Boudreau picks in retrospect are frustrating to look back at, as the two picks that were traded to Detroit for the former, Mantha and Bertuzzi, have both become solid pieces for a rebuilding Red Wings squad, while the latter never ended up playing an NHL or AHL regular-season game. Teams always talk about building through the draft, but the Sharks failed to do so in 2013.