Where Are They Now?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 15 2014 12:44PM

Nugent-Hopkins_2011_NHL_entry_draft[1]

I wish I could bring more insight about this years draft. To be honest, I'm terrible at paying attention to draft classes, and tend to just go on Youtube the day before and pick whoever has the coolest trick shot as the guy I want the Leafs to pick. Its a pretty poor strategy, and one of my ambitions for next season is to not find myself in the same position this time in 2015. 

I did get to thinking though, the Leafs have drafted a lot of guys over the years. Where is everybody? I looked up every player the Leafs have drafted in this millennium, and traced their current hockey location (league of most games played in 2013/14) down.

locations

Something that surprised me a lot: of the 106 players the Leafs have selected over the past 14 years, eighteen of them are regular NHLers. These guys rank from the fringe (Jimmy Hayes) to the elite (Tuukka Rask). The issue, of course, is that just five of those eighteen are playing for the Leafs. Hayes teamed up with Brad Boyes in Florida. Jay Harrison and Jiri Tlusty played together in Carolina. Matt Frattin split time between LA and Columbus, Luke Schenn was in Philly (this one nobody minds for obvious reasons), Viktor Stalberg was in Nashville. Johnny "Malkin" Mitchell was in Colorado, Anton Stralman won the east with the New York Rangers, Matt Stajan still does stuff in Calgary, and Alex Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo were chilling in St. Louis.

Tied with the NHL on this list is the American Hockey League. This, of course, is much more Toronto-controlled territory, with fourteen players spending the bulk of their year with the Toronto Marlies (and Jesse Blacker having started the season there). The most surprising of all the AHLers, however, is Jean-Philippe Cote. The last pick by the Leafs in 2000, the 32 year old has stuck to the grind and represented Tampa Bay in 19 of his 27 career NHL games this year, but spent most of the season with Syracuse.

The last significant location for these picks is the KHL. Twelve of these draft picks found their way there this year, with eleven of them being European in background (Ian White being the sore thumb). Unsurprisingly, this is the land of the ones drafted long ago, with Juraj Mikus and Leo Komarov (who is expected to return to the NHL) being the only two drafted after 2004.

Beyond that, players have scattered around the world. I found it funny that Leafs picks from three different draft classes (Miguel Delisle of 2000, Nicolas Corbeil of 2001, and Dominic D'Amour of 2002) all find themselves on the same LNAH (very-low level pro league in Quebec/East Ontario) team. I also wonder if playing in the third level German league is better or worse than the fourth level Swedish league.

Lastly, I was impressed by the fact that only eight players appear to have left professional hockey. I guess the sport is the only thing that some of these guys have, but a lot of them are in their 30's now and have jumped around a lot of leagues. Whether they're chasing dreams or paycheques now is a curious question, but in any event, there's a lot of dedication required there. Below is the full list, sorted by location:

Player Year League Team / Last Year
Tyler Biggs 2011 AHL Toronto
Stuart Percy 2011 AHL Toronto
Joshua Leivo 2011 AHL Toronto
David Broll 2011 AHL Toronto
Garret Sparks 2011 AHL Toronto
Brad Ross 2010 AHL Toronto
Greg McKegg 2010 AHL Toronto
Petter Granberg 2010 AHL Toronto
Sam Carrick 2010 AHL Toronto
Kenny Ryan 2009 AHL Toronto
Jesse Blacker 2009 AHL Norfolk
Jamie Devane 2009 AHL Toronto
Jerry D'Amigo 2009 AHL Toronto
Greg Pateryn 2008 AHL Hamilton
Andrew MacWilliam 2008 AHL Toronto
Korbinian Holzer 2006 AHL Toronto
Chad Rau 2005 AHL Worcester
Jean-Philippe Cote 2000 AHL Syracuse
Alex Berry 2005 Austria Ljubljana
Todd Ford 2002 Chinook Okotoks
Grant Rollheiser 2008 CHL Brampton
Barron Smith 2009 CIS Alberta
Martin Sagat 2003 Czech Chomutov
Karel Pilar 2001 Czech Praha
Jerome Flaake 2008 DEL Hamburg
Josh Nicholls 2010 ECHL Greenville
Dale Mitchell 2007 ECHL South Carolina
Tyler Ruegsegger 2006 ECHL Reading
Joel Champagne 2008 EIHL Braehead
Phil Oreskovic 2005 EIHL Nottingham
Markus Seikola 2000 Finland Turku
Ivan Kolozvary 2001 Germany-3 Bayreuth
Lubos Velebny 2000 Germany-3 Peiting
Jan Chovan 2001 Hungary Nove Zamky
Christopher DiDomenico 2007 Italy Asiago
David Turon 2002 Italy Fassa
Juraj Mikus 2007 KHL Prague
Leo Komarov 2006 KHL Moscow Dynamo
Roman Kukumberg 2004 KHL Bratislava
Dmitry Vorobiev 2004 KHL Vladivostok
Maxim Semenov 2004 KHL Astana
Konstantin Volkov 2003 KHL Moscow Dynamo
Ian White 2002 KHL Chelyabinsk
Jarkko Immonen 2002 KHL Nizhny Novgorod
Staffan Kronwall 2002 KHL Yaroslavl
Maxim Kondratiev 2001 KHL Chelyabinsk
Tomas Mojzis 2001 KHL Bratislava
Mikael Tellqvist 2000 KHL Riga
Jean-Francois Racine 2000 LHSCE Waterloo
Dominic D'Amour 2002 LNAH Cornwall
Nicolas Corbeil 2001 LNAH Cornwall
Miguel Delisle 2000 LNAH Cornwall
Dominic Toninato 2012 NCAA Minnesota-Duluth
Tony Cameranesi 2011 NCAA Minnesota-Duluth
Dennis Robertson 2011 NCAA Brown
Max Everson 2011 NCAA Harvard
Eric Knodel 2009 NCAA New Hampshire
Morgan Rielly 2012 NHL Toronto
Nazem Kadri 2009 NHL Toronto
Luke Schenn 2008 NHL Philadelphia
Jimmy Hayes 2008 NHL Florida
Matt Frattin 2007 NHL Columbus
Carl Gunnarsson 2007 NHL Toronto
Jiri Tlusty 2006 NHL Carolina
Nikolai Kulemin 2006 NHL Toronto
James Reimer 2006 NHL Toronto
Viktor Stalberg 2006 NHL Nashville
Tuukka Rask 2005 NHL Boston
Anton Stralman 2005 NHL NY Rangers
John Michell 2003 NHL Colorado
Alexander Steen 2002 NHL St. Louis
Matthew Stajan 2002 NHL Calgary
Carlo Colaiacovo 2001 NHL St. Louis
Jay Harrison 2001 NHL Carolina
Brad Boyes 2000 NHL Florida
Sondre Olden 2010 Norway Valerenga
Carter Verhaeghe 2013 OHL Niagara
Matt Finn 2012 OHL Guelph
Connor Brown 2012 OHL Erie
Ryan Rupert 2012 OHL London
Jan Steber 2004 Poland Tychy
Frederik Gauthier 2013 QMJHL Rimouski
Fabrice Herzog 2013 QMJHL Quebec
Antoine Bibeau 2013 QMJHL Val d'Or
Ben Winnett 2007 Retired 2011/12
Pierce Norton 2004 Retired 2010/11
John Doherty 2003 Retired 2007/08
Shaun Landolt 2003 Retired 2009/10
Scott May 2002 Retired 2011/12
Jaroslav Sklenar 2001 Retired 2005/06
Kris Vernarsky 2000 Retired 2010/11
Vadim Sozinov 2000 Retired 2006/07
Andreas Johnson 2013 Sweden Frolunda
Viktor Loov 2012 Sweden Modo
Tom Nilsson 2011 Sweden Frolunda
Daniel Brodin 2010 Sweden Brynas
Johan Dahlberg 2005 Sweden D2 Ulvo
Justin Pogge 2004 Sweden-1 Bofars
Jeremy Williams 2003 Sweden-1 Vasteras
Robbie Earl 2004 Switzerland Zug
Brendan Bell 2001 Switzerland Biel
Kyle Wellwood 2001 Switzerland Zug
Mike Knoepfli 2001 Switzerland Fribourg
Mikhail Stefanovich 2008 VHL Togliatti
Alxander Shinkar 2000 VHL Togliatti

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I bring news about the Toronto Marlies, opinions about the Toronto Maple Leafs, and a bunch of ridiculous thoughts about everything else.
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#1 Kanuunankuula
June 16 2014, 07:32AM
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I shed a tear thinking about the top tier NHL players they let go for pretty much nothing. Rask & Steen mainly.

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#2 Skill2Envy
June 16 2014, 03:56PM
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You could add Boyes to that list. One 40 goal season, One 30 goal season, Two 20 goal seasons and Eight seasons of at least 35 points.

Not every 1st round pick needs to be a star but you should be able to get a NHL contributor out of it and he has been one since 2005/6.

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