June 22 2012 10:00PM
PITTSBURGH — The Maple Leafs' director of amateur scouting Dave Morrison didn't necessarily confirm Brian Burke's assertion that number five overall pick Morgan Rielly was the highest player ranked on the Leafs' board, but admitted that "we had him pretty high."
"We went for a high-end skill talent. We wanted a guy that can be a core player," said Morrison. "He skates really fast and his hockey sense is very very good. He's a potential impact player. He's got a very high ceiling."
June 22 2012 05:58PM
PITTSBURGH — Brian Burke apparently didn't shy away from the idea of selecting a Western Hockey League defenceman with the fifth overall pick in Friday's first round, selecting defenceman Morgan Rielly of the Moose Jaw Warriors.
After what seemed like eons of second-guessing and innuendo, the first four picks of the NHL Draft went generally as expected. Edmonton took Nail Yakupov, Columbus Ryan Murray, Montreal Alex Galchenyuk and New York Griffin Reinhart.
This left several options open for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but in the end, the pro scouting department and front office landed on Rielly, overlooking three defencemen on my board as well as skilled forwards Mikhail Grigorenko, Tuevo Teräväinen and even the defensively capable Radek Faksa.
June 22 2012 09:03AM
It's Draft Day in a cloudy Pittsburgh, PA. The Toronto Maple Leafs, holders of the No. 5 overall pick, their highest since 2008, don't only have a chance to re-stock the cupboard with two virtual first round picks and a plethora of players available for trade.
Last season, the big moves were made around Draft Day. Philadelphia got rid of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter, San Jose dealt Devin Setoguchi for Brent Burns, and Troy Brouwer was sent to Washington.
June 21 2012 09:57AM
(Brad White/Getty Images)
Furthering up on our Defenceman/Goaltender "Big Board" from earlier today, we look now at the forwards on our list, at least one of which will be available at #5.
Using the collective analysis of Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus and Craig Button of TSN, I pieced together common things said and written about each prospect, along with what we ought to like and not like about the perceived talents of a hockey player. There are three centremen and three wingers on this list, and we're trying to find elements in these players' games that will make them good pieces at the NHL-level. With such a high pick in the draft, two-way play is at a premium.
Here are TLN's top forwards, ranked 1-through-6:
June 21 2012 08:08AM
(Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Yesterday we released our "Big Board" at The Leafs Nation to introduce us to all the potential players that Brian Burke will select with the #5 overall pick.
Using the collective analysis of Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus and Craig Button of TSN, I pieced together common things said and written about each prospect, along with what we ought to like and not like about the perceived talents of a hockey player. Defencemen are tough to pin down in any draft year, since the traditional stats we use to judge forwards are thrown out the window in favour of players who can influence possession, play physical or quarterback a powerplay.
Here are TLN's preferred five defencemen ahead of Friday's selection: