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The Sharks reportedly intend to take Will Smith in the fourth spot
Just over two weeks remain before the start of the NHL amateur draft. Obviously, Connor Bedard should be the first player drafted, and behind him, Adam Fantilli and Leo Carlsson are expected to round out the top-3.

There may still have been some doubt surrounding Carlsson, but he seems to have cemented his place at No. 3.

The question now is, who will the Sharks choose? With the Habs drafting at No. 5, that’s an important question, given that he’s currently the big unknown.

However, according to Sheng Peng, who covers the Sharks’ activities, it would appear that the Californian club intends to take Will Smith at No. 4 (if he’s still available).

At least, that’s what a source told him.

In fact, according to this source, Smith will be heading to San Jose in the next few days. Clearly, they want to acclimatize him to the city.

And for the Tricolore, it’s a bit of a shame because you can tell the club really likes the young forward. He and Kent Hughes know each other very well, and we sensed that the CH DG was particularly concerned when he was asked about Smith this week.

And considering they’ve known each other for so long, that’s to be expected.

That said, there is a scenario in which the Sharks are aware of the CH’s interest in the American forward and that this is just a smokescreen. Perhaps they want to force Kent Hughes’ hand in an attempt to get him to pay a high price for the fourth pick.

But if the rumour is true and the Sharks really do intend to select Smith with the fourth pick (which makes sense to me), that would mean the Tricolore would have to decide on Matvei Michkov. Clearly, he would be the best available prospect at this rank if the other four big forwards are taken.

However, since the beginning of the process, I get the impression that the club has no intention of drafting the Russian forward. Hughes’ comments this week about the fact that they still haven’t talked to him lead me to believe that if he’s still available at No. 5, he’ll still be available when it’s the Coyotes’ turn at No. 6.

More and more, I’m getting the impression that Ryan Leonard will be the CH’s fifth-round pick. David Reinbacher may be an option too, but the further along the process goes, the more I’m thinking that an American forward will be drafted by Kent Hughes in the top-5, and obviously, his name won’t be Will Smith, but Ryan Leonard.

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