With the 68th overall pick, the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Rinat Valiev of the Kootenay Ice. A 6’1, 196lb defender, Valiev put up scored five goals and 28 points in 55 games this past season.
Valiev was ranked as the 141st amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting… last year. That’s right, Valiev is an overage pick, and was eligible for the 2013 Draft after playing with the Indiana Ice of the USHL last season.
“A solid defenseman who skates at a very high level. Extremely smooth on his feet and handles the puck equally well… Pass-first type defenseman who will never light it up, but is proficient between the blue lines. Maintains a good position and an actives stick in the defensive end. NHL POTENTIAL: Top-Six Two-Way Defenseman.”
BONUS: Here’s Valiev beating the crap out of Vancouver first rounder Jake Virtanen…