Leafs Draft Preview: All the D

Justin Fisher
June 29 2013 09:27AM

Madison Bowey and Joshua Morrisey (Photo: www.raiderhockey.com)
Madison Bowey & Joshua Morrissey (Photo: www.raiderhockey.com)
If teams drafted for need, this article would have never been written. Just last year, Toronto used the fifth overall pick on future repeat Norris winner Morgan Rielly, building upon an already impressive group of defensive prospects including Jesse Blacker, Stuart Percy, Matt Finn, and Petter Granberg.
Luckily for me, it's generally considered best practice to draft for best player available. And by the time the 21st pick comes up, it's entirely possible that the Leafs' best player available is a blueliner.
Here's a few defencemen that could be pulling a Leafs jersey over their head on Sunday afternoon...

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Three 2012 Leafs picks to Team Canada's summer camp

Cam Charron
June 28 2013 09:40AM

Just a quick note from Lance Hornby, on a day we're all discussing prospects to an extent:

Nobody should be surprised at all by Morgan Rielly. He made last year's team and unless there's a significant loss of intelligence among the Leafs executive, Rielly will spend his 19-year-old season in junior and not in the Toronto Maple Leafs defensive corps.

It's nice to see Matt Finn there as well. Behind Stuart Percy, Jesse Blacker and Rielly, it's easy to forget that the Leafs had a prospect with 11 goals and 41 points in just 31 OHL games last year. He's still an NHL longshot.

Ryan Rupert, however, is a surprise.

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Mock drafts: who are the Leafs projected to select?

Cam Charron
June 28 2013 09:11AM

I've been scouring through a few mock drafts in the last couple of days to get a handle on the kind of player the Maple Leafs will get. The consensus seems to be that Toronto is going to be taking a big forward, after a year of taking two smooth-skating defencemen Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn early in the first and second rounds.

One problem with the Leafs system is that they don't have any "wow" forward prospects on the farm looking to come up. Since selecting Nazem Kadri, none of their forward prospects have become wicked productive in junior hockey or considered for Team Canada at the juniors, so it's tough to get excited about them. Tyler Biggs was on the American gold medal-winning team this past winter, but in a supporting role. At 21, I think the Leafs really, really, really need to go for skill over size more than anything else.

So, uh... who are people giving us?

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Leafs Draft Preview: Forward Thinking

Justin Fisher
June 28 2013 08:08AM

via windsorspitfires.com

On Tuesday, we took a look at Dave Morrison's draft record in hopes of finding some pattern that might help us identify some potential draft targets in this coming Sunday's NHL Entry Draft. While we were able to see the Leafs favour North American players, little else could be pulled from the numbers.

Morrison has selected three forwards and three defencemen with six first round picks in the past seven drafts. Goalies have been snubbed, which many would argue is a good thing. In fact, Morrison has only drafted three goaltenders in the past seven years, with the highest drafted being a 4th rounder (James Reimer, 2006).

Today, we'll take a look at the forwards who the Leafs might find attractive at 21st overall... 

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Lightning will buy out Vincent Lecavalier

Ryan Fancey
June 27 2013 07:28AM

I won't lie, this one sort of surprised me. We've been hearing Lecavalier's name come up in the buy-out talks over the past few days, but I really didn't think the Lightning would actually do it this summer.

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