At this point, it appears as if the Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly “interested” in pretty much every projected first round prospect.
According to a report in Finland’s Ilta Sanomat, the Leafs invited draft eligible Mikko Rantanen to visit Toronto. More past the jump…
Unfortunately, I don’t read Finnish, and apparently Google Translate doesn’t read Finnish all that well either, but I was able to pull the following out of Ilta Sanomat’s report…
- Rantanen visited Toronto and (I believe) the Air Canada Centre following the Draft Combine festivities in Buffalo
- He met with members of both the Leafs’ coaching staff and executive team
- He will be returning home to Finland from Toronto
- The report speculates that the Leafs are “very interested” in Rantanen
- More speculation that Toronto may be willing to trade down from their fourth overall selection in order to pick up another draft pick later in the first round or in the second round
That last point lines up with Leafs Assistant GM Kyle Dubas told media just yesterday – Toronto is willing to discuss trading down in the draft order later this month. Rantanen will likely still be available several picks behind where the Leafs will currently pick, so if they’re in love with Rantanen, it may make sense to move down.
Rantanen is a 6’4, 212lb winger that, at 18 years old, has already played nearly two full seasons in SM Liiga, Finland’s top league. This season, while wearing the “A” on a men’s team, Rantanen scored nine goals and 28 points in 56 games played. Those are excellent numbers for such a young player.