You won’t get much production out of Middleton, but long term he could be a dependable 5/6 defenseman with a mix of assists, blocks, hits and PIMs.
Click to Expand
June 2023 – Middleton had a reliable 2022-23 season for the Wild where he played 79 games and posted 15 points in the regular season followed by an additional six games and two points in the playoffs. He has fully established himself as an NHL player on the blueline after several years playing joint NHL and AHL seasons with the San Jose Sharks organization. Middleton is a stay-at-home defenseman that can potentially increase his offensive production in the next couple years, as he gets more opportunities and more minutes for Minnesota. Nathan Leblanc
March 2021 – Middleton has been traded from the Sharks to the Minnesota Wild for Kaapo Kahkonen and a pick. Pat Quinn
March 2019 – Middleton has been recalled once again by the Sharks due to mounting injuries on the blueline. Last time he was recalled he only suited up for one game, playing limited minutes, and you can probably expect more of the same this time around if he plays. Middleton doesn’t necessarily have a ton of fantasy value, even if he does stick as a full time NHLer, he projects as a sort of all around defenseman. He could be valuable in the hits and blocks department with more ice time, but don’t expect big offensive numbers. Chris Legg
January 2019 – Middleton made his NHL debut this month against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He didn’t exactly get a chance to play as he played only about five minutes on a third pairing with Tim Heed. Barring some major injuries, Middleton is not likely to see much more NHL action than that this season, the Sharks are deep on defence and DeBoer does not give ice time to rookies easily. Middleton will in all likelihood return to the Barracuda, where he has 12 points in 26 games, when Vlasic returns to the Sharks line up. Chris Legg
June 2018 – Jacob Middleton is coming off a nice sophomore season for the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda in which he was named the team’s alternate captain. The 22-year-old led all Barracuda defenseman in scoring with 28 points, good for fourth in overall scoring on the team. The big defenseman is the type of player that does everything well, but doesn’t excel in any one area of the game. Middleton is a tough, rugged player that can still play the modern game with a good breakout pass. He showed enough offensive instincts to land him some power play time, although he doesn’t project to be a big time point producer at the next level. The Sharks don’t have a ton of depth on defence and it’s likely Middleton will get a few NHL games this season. Chris Legg
May 2017 – The season began with Middleton unable to crack the lineup and now he has been an indispensable defender for the Barracuda in the playoffs. Middleton’s improved performance has pushed Patrick McNally and Dan Kelly to the press box. Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer commented how easy it is to coach Middleton, saying he is told only once and then quickly corrects mistakes. In fact, the pairing of Middleton and Nick DeSimone could be viewed as the Barracuda’s “second” middle pairing along with Julius Bergman and Mirco Muller. Middleton’s size, mobility and smart, safe movements of the puck up ice check a lot of boxes for a possible future NHL defender. Zachary DeVine
March 2017 – The Los Angeles Kings did not extend an offer to the big Ottawa 67s defenseman this summer, so the San Jose Sharks swooped in and signed the versatile defender. Middleton had a rough start to his first professional season and struggled to get into a game. Around December he got his break and has been a mainstay for the Barracuda since. Coach Roy Sommer has credited the hard work in practice and ability to play anywhere in the lineup as key factors in Middleton’s solid season. While other blueliners have been called up, Middleton has played on all three pairing and usually with similar results: solid positioning, a good pass out of the zone, and responsible defensive zone play.
Long term, Middleton has the toolbox to grow into a bottom-pairing NHL defender. He has decent foot work, a solid passing game and plays within his limits. His size and the well-timed nasty streak is something lacking in the Sharks prospects, which is a plus when you look at the Sharks playing a few guys with sand every year. A good comparable will be a Brenden Dillon-style player if his development stays on track. Zachary DeVine
June 2014 – The Los Angeles Kings selected Jacob Middleton 210th overall at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Brendan Ross
June 2014 – Jacob Middleton has been a highly sought after player early in his career and that trend should continue at the 2014 NHL Draft. He’s already been traded once (for Cody Ceci) from the Owen Sound Attack to the Ottawa 67’s in the Ontario Hockey League and he’s carved out a good role in the nation’s capital. Jacob Middleton is a left shooting defenseman with an intriguing upside. He showed at the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects that he’s willing to throw down if needed and he’s been providing a stabilizing presence on the 67’s blue line. He is already a proven defender that clears out opponents from the front of the net using his size and strength but his simplistic puck moving game remains untapped. He will never be a high-end offensive producer but he owns the smarts and skills to transition the puck up the ice and can serve as a trigger man on the powerplay too. He will need to improve his skating as he struggles in transitions and pivots. Look for Jacob Middleton to garner attention at the 2014 NHL Draft after the first round wraps up as he could be selected anywhere thereafter. Brendan Ross