Sharks take local product Laubach with final pick in 2022 NHL Draft

Sharks take local product Laubach with final pick in 2022 NHL Draft

Reese Laubach grew up idolizing Joe Pavelski, skating on the same sheet of ice as his idol when he played for the San Jose Jr. Sharks and even meeting Pavelski a few times.

But after Friday’s NHL Draft, he’s got something in common with his idol, too. They both were drafted by San Jose in the seventh round.

Nineteen years after the Sharks took Pavelski with the 205th pick in the 2003 draft, Laubach was the choice at No. 214 for the team he grew up watching.

“I was probably the biggest Sharks fan around, so to be drafted by my hometown team is a dream come true,” Laubach said on Friday.

Laubach had his youth hockey Sharks jerseys hanging on the wall behind him during his interview with the media, showing off that he wore No. 8 — and yes, he chose that number because of Pavelski.

Laubach was actually the second former Jr. Sharks player taken on Friday, as Garrett Brown was taken in the fourth round (pick No. 99) by the Winnipeg Jets. Brown and Laubach are the first Jr. Sharks ever taken in the NHL Draft.

“It shows that the Jr. Sharks is a growing program here, it’s a growing foundation,” Laubach said. “We’ve got some really great coaches, great staff that are helping us develop into the players we are today. It’s great to see hockey growing in California.”

Three coaches Laubach credited with helping him were Mike Janda, John Beaulieu and Curtis Brown — Garrett’s dad.

Laubach attended Valley Christian High School and played for the school’s hockey team for two seasons before moving to Minnesota, which he said was sparked by the COVID pandemic.

A 6-foot, 167-pound forward, Laubach had 102 points in 57 games for the Northstar Christian Academy 18U AAA team this past season. He was ranked 192nd among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. He played two games in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Youngstown Phantoms, who he said he’s going to return to play for in this upcoming season before potentially heading to Minnesota State-Mankato.

“Reese has earned a lot of this. It’s awesome that he’s a Jr. Shark and he’s from San Jose, but most importantly, he had a great season and he deserved to be drafted,” Sharks director of scouting Doug Wilson Jr. said. “We’re excited about him — he’s extremely fast and he’s a good goalscorer.”

Source: Paradise Post

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