Sharks Hire Niklas Sundstrom as European Scout
Team Also Augments Other Existing Roles Within the Hockey Operations Department
He will work in conjunction with fellow European Scout Shin Larsson.
Sundstrom spent parts of four seasons (1999-2003) with San Jose, ranking in the top-40 among franchise leaders in several categories, including: points (137, 24th), goals (33, 38th), assists (104, 20th) and games played (281, 30th). He helped San Jose reach the playoffs in three of those four seasons, compiling 12 points (1-11=12) in 30 playoff games with the Sharks.
“One of Nicky’s strongest assets has always been his hockey sense, which is off the charts,” said Wilson. “We are excited to add Nicky’s insight and abilities to our talented scouting group and welcome him back to the Sharks family.”
Along with his scouting duties, Sundstrom’s responsibilities will include an emphasis on European player development and transition.
The Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, native spent ten seasons in the National Hockey League with Montreal, San Jose and the New York Rangers, amassing 349 points (117 goals, 232 assists) and 256 penalty minutes in 750 career NHL games. Sundstrom was originally drafted eighth overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers. He spent the last seven seasons of his playing career in the Swedish Hockey League with MODO, retiring after the 2012-13 campaign.
Additionally, Wilson announced several augmentations to roles held by current hockey department staff members, allowing for more of an emphasis on the development and mentoring of players.
- Development Coach Mike Ricci’s role of aiding in the development and skills of the team’s forwards will be expanded to work with players throughout the organization’s depth chart. Ricci enjoyed a 16-year NHL career, notching 605 points (243 goals, 362 assists) and 979 penalty minutes in 1,099 games with Philadelphia, Quebec/Colorado, San Jose and Phoenix. He also added 66 points (23 goals, 43 assists) in 110 Stanley Cup Playoff games and won a Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996.
- Scout Bryan Marchment will handle a similar role with the organization’s defensemen. Marchment played in 926 NHL games over 17 seasons with Winnipeg, Chicago, Hartford, Edmonton, Tampa Bay, San Jose, Colorado, Toronto and Calgary and posted 182 points (40 goals, 142 assists) and 2,307 penalty minutes.
- Scout Dirk Graham will continue to aid in the organization’s player development process with an emphasis on leadership and character development. Graham, 1991 Selke Trophy winner, played 12 NHL seasons and 772 games, primarily with Chicago and scored at least 20 goals six times, helping Chicago reach the 1992 Stanley Cup Final while serving as the team's captain from 1989-95.
- As previously announced, Larry Robinson, who served as an associate coach for the last two seasons, was named Associate Coach and Director of Player Development, and will continue to assist on Head Coach Todd McLellan’s coaching staff, as well as aid in the development of Sharks players and prospects.
- Goaltending Development Coach Corey Schwab will continue to work with all goaltenders in the Sharks organization from the NHL, AHL, ECHL, college, and Canadian and United States junior leagues. A veteran of 147 regular season games with New Jersey, Tampa Bay, Vancouver and Toronto over his eight-year NHL career, Schwab was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils as well as the 1995 Calder Cup Champion Albany River Rats.
“We have always felt that drafting and developing players is the heart and soul of our organization,” said Wilson. “I am extremely pleased with the group that we have assembled to lead our development efforts. The character and accomplishments of the individuals working with our young players speak for themselves, and many of these leaders have a history within the Sharks family.”
Lastly, John Ferguson, who most recently served as the team’s director of pro scouting, has left the organization for a position with the Boston Bruins.
“This is a great opportunity for John,” said Wilson. “We want to thank ‘Fergie’ for all of his hard work over the past six seasons and wish him the best.”