Mock Draft Roundup: The Leafs’ first round selections

The season’s over, and the draft is just eight business days away. We’ve been digging into the numbers, video, everything in the last month or so in order to get ourselves ready for it, but we know the actual selections won’t fall perfectly in line with our rankings or anyone else’s. 

There are team needs to consider, and mistakes to be made. With that in mind, each year many around the internet try to nail down their version of a mock draft, and we checked in on how they see things shaking out for the Leafs in that first round.

Here’s a collection of mock drafts from some of the more trusted sources around the internet, with the players predicted to go in the Leafs’ two slots – fourth and twenty-fourth overall. [Of course the team could blow the doors off with a series of trades to make this list quickly obsolete, but hey, we’ll go with what we have.]

4th Overall    24th Overall    
Corey Pronman (ESPN)   Dylan Strome         Jansen Harkins  
Damien Cox (Sportsnet)    Ivan Provorov Jansen Harkins
Today’s Slapshot Dylan Strome Evgeny Svechnikov     
MyNHLDraft Mitch Marner Jansen Harkins
USA Today Noah Hanifin Evgeny Svechnikov
McKeen’s Hockey Mitch Marner Evgeny Svechnikov
Gus Katsaros (Yahoo!)  Mitch Marner Jake DeBrusk
DraftSite Dylan Strome Oliver Kylington
Future Considerations Dylan Strome Colin White

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this list to me is the Leafs somehow end up with Svechnikov in three different mock drafts. Svechnikov has often been in the discussion right up there with the likes of Konecny and Rantanen as just-outside-the-top-ten options, and in our final TLN rankings was slotted in 13th – with a high vote of 11th overall and his lowest being 17th. If the Leafs could actually grab him later in the round, I think a lot of fans, our staff especially, would be thrilled.

Another name popping up three times is Jansen Harkins, and given he’s a big center, it’s easy to see the rationale for sending him to Toronto. Unlike Svechnikov, Harkins wouldn’t really be seen as much of a “slip” to the Leafs, as we ranked him 20th in our list, with a high of 15th and a low of 23rd in voting. As far as rankings go, he seems more likely to be in their range. 

Kylington is the only defenceman who shows up at 24th in the mocks we tracked, and he’s another player who I believe our staff would go off the wall for if he ends up in Toronto. 

As for that fourth overall pick, it’s mostly just the usual suspects, except for Cox’s draft which has the Leafs going a little off the board for Provorov. In my opinion, the Leafs would be well off to explore dealing this pick to move down and grab him, accumulating an additional asset in the process, but I suppose that depends on what’s even open to them in trade talks. If they believe the opportunity to deal down – and seventh is perhaps the furthest they can go and still hope to nab him – isn’t there, they might be forced into a big decision between Provorov and Hanifin (who also only shows up once for the Leafs in this list) at four, assuming they’re dead set on a defenceman. 

Otherwise, the Strome vs. Marner debate rolls on, with Strome edging his counterpart by showing up four times in this list. Oh, my nerves.

  • silentbob

    “Otherwise, the Strome vs. Marner debate rolls on, with Strome edging his counterpart by showing up four times in this list. Oh, my nerves.”

    Just to nitpick a little bit….

    It looks like just about every site (I can’t see McKeens list) that doesn’t have the Leafs taking Strome have him going 3rd overall to the Coyotes. I think we can say, at least when it comes to these rankings, there is no debate; Strome is the better prospect and the only situation in which he doesn’t end up a Leaf is if the Coyotes draft him.

    • silentbob

      I think Strome is ranked 3rd out of the trio of Marner, Hanifin and Strome (though all of them are very close to each other), but the only reason why he’s being picked 3rd the most is because the Coyotes are in need of a big centre, and have been linked to strome for a while.

      If it were another team it would be more likely hanifin or marner

      • silentbob

        You’re assuming the Coyotes (And those doing the rankings agree) are going to take the worst player out of a group of 3 to address a need, which is something everyone in the sport knows you don’t do.

        Much more logical to see this as a credit to how people view those 3 prospects, and the rankings (by committe) would APPEAR to be Strome, Hanifin, Marner.

  • Gary Empey

    Looking at all the coaching changes the Leafs have made this year I see a high value placed on the defensive side of the game with a BIG emphasis placed on speed.

    I don’t think they will be interested in a really exceptional “one dimensional” player with thoughts of teaching him two way game in the future.

    With these thoughts in mind who are the best two-way players ranked three through ten?

    Up front:

    MATHEW BARZAL, MITCHELL MARNER

    Backend:

    IVAN PROVOROV, NOAH HANIFIN

  • Gary Empey

    Best two-way players with wheels ranked around the 24th pick .

    Up front:

    JANSEN HARKINS, JAKE DEBRUSK, DANIEL SPRONG, TRAVIS KONECNY, JOEL ERIKSSON EK

    Backend:

    JÉRÉMY ROY, JAKUB ZBORIL, THOMAS CHABOT, BRANDON CARLO, OLIVER KYLINGTON