With the 21st pick, the Maple Leafs select... Frederick Gauthier

Cam Charron
June 30 2013 03:18PM

Credit to Nations photo Dimitri Filopovic

Somewhat expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs went with the big centreman Frederick Gauthier of the Rimouski Oceanic with the 21st overall pick. Gauthier had been given to the Leafs in several mock drafts—either him or Kerby Rychel—as the Maple Leafs continue the theme of drafting size rather than skill among forwards.

The pick isn't *awful*, but it is a *safe* pick. Pierre McGuire stated the obvious when he suggested that Gauthier will never be like Ron Francis. It's not a reach, as Gauthier was ranked No. 20 in our NHL Numbers consensus picks, but considering a skilled forward like Hunter Shinkaruk had fallen to the Leafs spot, I can understand if fans feel the team didn't try to hit a home run.

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Leafs Draft Preview: A Note on Goalers

Justin Fisher
June 30 2013 09:30AM

(Photo: www.mississaugasteelheads.com)

Mississauga's Spencer Martin (Photo: www.mississaugasteelheads.com)

Ahead of this afternoon's draft, we've been looking at some of the players that may be possible first round draft targets for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Not one of them a goaltender.

There's several good reasons for this. Most significantly, there's only a goaltender or two expected to go in the first round. Then there's the fact that during Dave Morrison's tenure as top scout, the Leafs have drafted only three goaltenders in seven drafts. 

Still, who's to say a goalie isn't 21st on the Leafs' draft rankings? Or 10th? Or 1st? (I mean really, would you put something that silly past them?) 

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The Leafs will probably not move into the Top Five today

Cam Charron
June 30 2013 09:02AM

Plus ça change...

Be wary of unsourced information. There are so many rumours that are going to come up within the next week or so, and without knowing the sources, it's hard to know who is using whom to mess with who.

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A Year Of Vinny?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 30 2013 12:34AM

The Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be hoping to make several moves over the course of this offseason, and rumours have been aplenty as a result. Think what you want about the Jonathan Bernier trade, and opinions really are all over the place (I'm still trying to convince myself to have a conclusive opinion), but it at least means that speculation involving goaltenders is over and done with for this offseason. The defence is probably the team's most practical concern, and potential moves range from retaining borderline players, to extending restricted free agents, and even possibly going after superstars. But whether you like it or not, the public pressure is on for Dave Nonis to acquire a top line centre.
Personally, I'm not of the belief that the Leafs need to acquire someone for this role. I think that while Nazem Kadri's production will not stay at the video-game like totals he put up last year, he's more than able to exceed the production of Tyler Bozak, while not being a "weak link" in a line with Phil Kessel and whichever of Lupul or van Reimsdyk plays left wing. Mikhail Grabovski's production dipped last year, but a decrease of and stylistic change of minutes has me optimistic that he can return to form on the second line. Joe Colborne appears to be back on track with a healed wrist, and Jay McClement is the fourth line centre of Toronto's dreams. I genuinely believe that they're in a good position. But this is a situation that won't be forgotten unless it's addressed. So, with all of that said, I think Vincent Lecavalier may be the best possible option. 

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Per Aaron Ward, Mark Fraser rejects two-way qualifying offer

Cam Charron
June 29 2013 12:52PM

There are an awful lot of trade rumours out there and few have any substance behind them. We'll concentrate instead on stuff that is likely to come out to be true or false in the coming days.

Earlier, the Leafs gave qualifying offers to all of the players on the team's NHL roster, meaning that they'll all keep their restricted free agent status when their contracts expire. QOs are generally one-year, small raises on the previous deal and are rejected by most key NHL players, allowing the team and the player to work on something more substantial.

But here's a fun nugget from Aaron Ward:

This is good news.

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