We’re about to hit the final 48-hour stretch before the Leafs are on the clock with the Matthews pick, so what better time to pass along our own final TLN pre-draft rankings?
Some of our writers have been hard at work trying to get prepped for what should be the one of the most important weekends for the Leafs in recent memory, and along the way we’ve established opinions on how we think the first round should shake out.
With that in mind, I asked Jess Pincente, Ryan Hobart, and Shawn Reis to pass along their final rankings to go along with my own, and did some consolidating. Now here we are with 30 names, plus a bonus pick. Barring another deal, Toronto will be picking at 31st as it stands, so we needed to honour that. Plus, by next season the league will have 31 teams anyway, so we want to get the jump on it.
Close but didn’t make the cut
Here are some of the prospects who received top-31 votes from our participating writers, but didn’t get enough points to reach the final list: Dillon Dube, Dmitri Sokolov, Adam Fox, Jordan Kyrou, Brett Howden, Tage Thompson, Victor Mete, Cam Dineen, Boris Katchouk, Carl Grunstrom.
Just a quick reminder that this isn’t a mock draft, and as such, players haven’t been slotted in with consideration team needs or anything like that. It’s just a consolidated ranking from lists our writers provided with which prospects they thought were the best in class.
A few notes
First off, you’ll notice we pushed Puljujarvi ahead of Laine for that number two spot, and we welcome the heat we’ll probably take for it. But I also have to note those two players actually tied in terms of tallied points when I put the lists together. Shawn and I used our “seniority” (we’re sorta big deals now) to break the tie, since we both voted Puljujarvi at two. It isn’t a knock on Laine, who will be a prime NHL talent, we just feel his ceiling isn’t quite as high. The top three still easily came in head and shoulders above the rest of this class, so no surprises there.
As you’ll see, the biggest range of opinion was on Vitali Abramov, who received a 16th place vote but also wasn’t rated on another list. Adam Mascherin and Alex DeBrincat proposed similar situations, both landing an 18th place nod but being left off elsewhere.
Lastly, the group was high on Clayton Keller, who landed that spot just outside the big three. Many lists these days have Tkachuk occupying that selection, but Keller emerged despite his lack of size.
Let us hear it
If there’s someone in the list you’re not a fan of, or feel we’ve underrated a prospect for any reason, feel free to rip us in the comments for it. Actually, we encourage you to drop your own rankings in there if you have them. You can also let us know who you’d like to see the Leafs nab with that 31st pick.