San Jose Mercury NewsThe Sharks don't always follow conventional wisdom when it comes to the NHL draft, so maybe it's no surprise that the first player they chose Saturday hasn't followed the usual path to a pro hockey career.Defenseman William Wrenn was born in Alaska, then left home for Los Angeles at age 14 because Southern California provided the better opportunity to develop his game.His parents were open to the idea of pursuing hockey in warmer climes."They never told me what to do or what not to do," said Wrenn, who will be a freshman at Denver next fall. "We weighed the pros and cons, but they left it up to me."Wrenn went from Los Angeles to the U.S. national training and development program in Michigan. There he competed against college teams and became captain of the under-18 team that won the gold medal in this year's world tournament. That impressed the Sharks, who made him their first of five picks on the second day of the 2009 NHL entry draft in Montreal."He's a leader," said Tim Burke, the Sharks director of scouting.San Jose, which was without a first-round pick Friday, used the 43rd overall selection to acquire Wrenn, who was not rated that high by most scouting services or media forecasters. Fourteen picks later, the Sharks chose another defenseman, Taylor Doherty of the Kingston Frontenacs in the Ontario Hockey League.Burke said the Sharks didn't set out to grab two defensemen, "but it worked out that way. Those were the best players. Both are right-handed shots, both are physical. They're hard to play against."At 6-foot-7 and 218 pounds, Doherty is one of the draft's bigger players -- and a full half-foot taller and 28 pounds heavier than Wrenn. Doherty, too, plays a physical style and drew much attention for a hit on Jonathan Taveres, the draft's overall No. 1 pick, during a prospects game in January.The Sharks made one of Tavares's teammates on the London Knights, Philip Varone, their third pick of the day, taking the 5-foot-10, 186-pound center in the fifth round with the 147th overall pick."He had a great playoff for London," said Burke of Varone, who had 19 points in 14 games as the Knights advanced to the third round of the Memorial Cup.Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson sent his sixth round pick in 2010 to Dallas for an extra seventh-round pick Saturday and used it to take center Marek Viedensky, a Slovakian native who is playing for Prince George in the Western Hockey League. San Jose then used its final pick to select German defenseman Dominik Bielke of Eisberlin in the German Elite League.Wilson said he toyed with the idea of adding another late-round pick, but chose not to. Overall, he said the draft was a predicatable one and he felt prepared for events as they palyed out."When you come into these drafts, forecasting how they play out is important and our guys pretty much nailed what was going to happen," Wilson said.Wilson's first pick of the day, Wrenn, is described by scouts as a stay-at-home defenseman who can quickly pass the puck out of his own end.Wrenn, however, describes himself as a two-way defenseman and points to Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf as the kind of player he sees himself becoming.Wrenn's parents still live in Anchorage. and he said they liked the idea of seeing their son playing in San Jose some day -- 2,030 miles away, but close to home by Alaskan standards."It's a relatively short flight," he said. ------(c) 2009, San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.).Visit MercuryNews.com, the World Wide Web site of the Mercury News, at http://www.mercurynews.com.Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.