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.