Nine-point-five percent just couldn’t cut it.
The Edmonton Oilers have won the NHL Draft Lottery (ugh) and the opportunity to draft the crazy-talented Connor McDavid (this is ridiculous).
Toronto, on the other hand, will retain the fourth overall pick.
Don’t sweat it too much, though – the Leafs will still be landing a top prospect in June.
Assuming that Jack Eichel (the consensus second-best prospect) won’t fall on draft day, there’s three players whose names have been closely tied to Toronto.
More past the jump…
The first is Dylan Strome, McDavid’s teammate with the Erie Otters. He’s the kind of big centre that Toronto has needed in the system ever since Mats Sundin left for Vancouver, but it’s no sure thing he’ll still be available. Strome lead the OHL in scoring with an insane 129 points in 68 games.
London Knights’ forward Mitch Marner name has also been bandied about. He’s a speedy, highly-creative offensive force, and is well known by Leafs’ Director of Player Personnel Mark Hunter (former GM of the Knights). Marner scored 44 goals and 126 points in 63 games this season.
Lastly, there’s Noah Hanifin. A big, smooth-skating blueliner from Boston College, Hanifin is seen by many as the draft’s third best prospect, If other teams opt for a forward, the Leafs might land the draft’s top defenceman. As a freshman, Hanifin scored 23 points in 37 games.