3 players the Maple Leafs should consider drafting with the 1st overall pick

Thomas Drance
April 30 2016 08:14PM


In case you've spent the weekend in a self-created hole in a park blasting Views on your headpones and haven't heard yet: the Toronto Maple Leafs won the NHL Draft Lottery on Saturday night. In late June, the Maple Leafs will take to the stage at the First Niagara Center to draft first overall at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Which name should they announce? Let's break down three possibilities.

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Matthews on draft lottery results: 'A lot of mixed emotions'

Thomas Drance
April 30 2016 07:06PM


Courtesy: Sportsnet.ca

In all likelihood, Zurich centreman Auston Matthews will become the first player since Wendell Clark to be selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs at an NHL Entry Draft. Some hot takes might be written about how the Leafs should select Patrik Laine, particularly if the big Finnish forward outperforms Matthews at the upcoming World Championships. Matthews should be the guy no matter what though and we all know it.

So how did the American-born forward react to the Maple Leafs' big draft lottery win on Saturday night? Well he wasn't exactly banging pots with a spoon out the window, even if he didn't quite grimace like McDavid at the thought of wintering in the big smoke. 

"Very nerve racking, a lot of mixed emotions, but it's pretty exciting to be a part of," Matthews said, in answer to a question about the draft lottery process itself.

So... Is the fact that Matthews doesn't share Leafs Nation's massive enthusiasm for Saturday night's events something to worry about?

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Maple Leafs win 2016 NHL Draft Lottery!!!

Thomas Drance
April 30 2016 06:18PM


Photo Credit: John E. Solkowski

Toronto vs. Everybody. Bring it.

For the first time in most of our lifetimes, it seems like Lady Luck is a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. On Saturday night the Toronto Maple Leafs got the sort of break they've spent years waiting for, winning the 2016 NHL Draft Lottery. Barring something extraordinarily unexpected, Auston Matthews will be wearing the blue and white next fall. 

How much of a game changer is this draft lottery win? Well consider that Views dropped on Friday, the Maple Leafs won the draft lottery on Saturday and now you certainly have to like the Toronto Raptors' chances in Game 7 on Sunday night. And you wouldn't have said that a couple of hours ago...

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Last Train to Zaitsev: Russian defenceman could sign with Leafs as soon as this evening

Jeff Veillette
April 30 2016 10:53AM

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Today is the day. After months of intense speculation and over a year of negotiation-like chatter, Russian defenceman Nikita Zaitsev will end his contract with CSKA Moscow this evening and become free to negotiate with teams around the world without being chained down to a transfer agreement. With that said, there won't be much negotiation.

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Why the Toronto Maple Leafs deserve a bit of good luck tonight

Jeff Veillette
April 30 2016 06:55AM

It's come to this. At some point tonight, Bill Daly is going to step up to a podium with a list of results to deliver to the hockey word. They'll be ones that shape the destiny of franchises for years to come if they play their cards right. Or, rather, the oversized square cards are played in their favour.

With the Toronto Maple Leafs at the top of the odds chart for tonight's Draft Lottery, many fans will finally feel able to cheer for their beloved team for the first time this season. Will it end the way that they and their team would like it to, though? Or are they about to get one last taste of disappointment before the offseason?

One could argue that, in a just world, they'll get the former.

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