June 27, 2015 By Paul Gackle

Sharks Move Up In Second Round, Draft Defenseman Jeremy Roy

After a relatively quiet first day to the 2015 NHL draft, the San Jose Sharks opened the second round with a bang on Saturday.

The Sharks acquired the first pick (No. 31 overall) of the second round by swinging a deal with the Colorado Avalanche, giving up their second-pick (No. 39), a second-round pick in the 2016 draft and a sixth-round pick in the 2017 draft. With the 31st overall pick, the Sharks selected 18-year-old Jeremy Roy, a two-way defenseman from the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL.

Roy slipped into the second round after being projected as a mid-first round pick by most pundits prior to the draft. As a result, he left the BB&T Center in South Florida on Friday night with his future still in question.

“It’s a little bit of a relief,” Roy said, referring to his selection with the first pick of the second round on Saturday. “It’s exciting. I didn’t know what to expect from today, so it was a relief.”

The 18-year-old defenseman said it was hard to sit through the first round of the draft on Friday without being selected. After returning to his hotel, he had a bit of a tough time falling asleep.

“Obviously when you’re young, you think about this, you want to get drafted as high as possible, so it was a bit hard, ” Roy said. “But I think today was a new day.”

Roy is a two-way defenseman, who’s drawn comparisons to Chicago Blackhawks blue liner Duncan Keith because of his ability to play effectively in every situation. He recorded 43 points (5g, 38a) in 46 games last year, finishing 11th among QMJHL defensemen in scoring despite missing 22 games with a lower-body injury

The right-shot defenseman said he’s almost fully healed from the injury.

“It’s almost all healed up,” Roy said. “I started training a few weeks ago, so it’s getting better. It’s not 100 percent, but it’s close to it.”

Like Sharks defensemen Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Mirco Mueller, Roy’s major strength is his skating ability. It allows him to join the rush on offense and get back into position in his own zone.

But the 18-year-old said he wants to work on his explosiveness before training camp kicks off in the fall.

“My explosiveness is something that’s not bad, but it needs to be great if I want play as quick as possible,’ Roy said. “So I’m working on it a lot this summer.”

Two of the picks that the Sharks gave up to land the 31st selection — the second-round pick in 2016 and the sixth-round pick in 2017 — were acquired when they sent defenseman Brad Stuart to the Avalanche last summer.

Adding blue line depth is a top priority for the Sharks this summer. The team struggled on the back end last season and it missed out on the three defenseman — Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov and Zach Werenski — considered to be franchise blue liners in the first round on Friday. After the Carolina Hurricanes snagged Hanifin (No.5 ), the Philadelphia Flyers landed Provorov (No.7) and the Columbus Blue Jackets picked Werenski (No. 8), the Sharks wound up drafting Swiss wingman Timo Meier with the ninth overall pick.

While Roy will be a long shot to make the Sharks roster in the fall, the second-round pick is hoping to force the team’s new coaching staff to make some “hard decisions” before it settles on a lineup for its opening night bout with the Los Angeles Kings.

“My mindset going there is to create as much hard decisions as possible for the coaching staff and the organization,” Roy said.

Trades & Other Picks: The Sharks traded the rights to pending unrestricted free agent goalie Antti Niemi to the Dallas Stars for a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft.

Team Teal sent another seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, the one acquired from the New York Islanders at the trade deadline in exchange for Tyler Kennedy, to the Vancouver Canucks for defenseman Patrick McNally.

The Sharks used the 86th overall pick, acquired from the Edmonton Oilers as compensation for former-head coach Todd McLellan, to select 6-foot-4 goalie Mike Robinson. They drafted left winger Adam Helewka (Spokane) with their fourth-round pick.

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