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If the Leafs draft Kotkaniemi, I will tattoo his name on my ass

On December 11th, 2017, I made a bold claim on Twitter dot com.

 

At this time, draft eligible Finnish centre/winger Jesperi Kotkaniemi was ranked in the late teens-early 20s on most draft lists. These same lists had fellow Finnish centre Rasmus Kupari much much higher. I, as well as other smart people, knew this was wrong.

Times have changed. Rumours now have Kotkaniemi going as high as 3rd overall to Montreal. This would be a good decision for Montreal, which means they are unlikely to make it – especially considering that there is talking about them moving the pick (although that feels like the typical smoke and mirrors we hear every year).

With a few other picks in the top 10 reportedly being shopped (Detroit at 6, Vancouver at 7, Chicago at 8), I’ll hold onto some hope that the Leafs trade up to one of these picks.

The reason? Jesperi Kotkaniemi kicks tremendous ass.

I’m not here to give you some scouting report on his edges and hockey IQ. I’m just going to lay down some facts.

Fact #1

In Liiga, Jesperi Kotkaniemi put up very similar offensive numbers to Mikko Rantanen.

Fact #2

Kotkaniemi did so as a younger player than Rantanen. He doesn’t turn 18 until after the draft.

Fact #3

Kotkaniemi can play centre and wing.

Fact #4

Mike Babcock has said he would love to have as many centres as possible in his lineup.

Fact #5

He is 6’2. Remember, size isn’t bad, it’s just bad if you choose a worse player cause they’re bigger. There aren’t many players better in this draft.

Fact #6

Despite tremendous forward talent in the NHL and on the wing throughout the entire depth chart, the Leafs are as thin at centre as they are defense.

Fact #7

Playing in Liiga allows for a much more custom (and better) development path for Kotkaniemi. The Leafs can keep him in Finland or bring him over to play in the AHL (like they did with Liljegren).

Fact #8

He’s got a cool name.

Fact #9

Grant McCagg has talked about how he’d like the Habs to draft him and I want to take that away from him because McCagg sucks.

Conclusion

In a world full of fake news, there should be more than enough facts here to convince you of why the Leafs need this guy.

So what will it take to get him? I dunno, I leave that up to Dubas. Trade this year’s 1st, next year’s 1st, and Connor Brown or something. I bet the Habs love Connor Brown.

What I do know is that if the Leafs manage to find a way to draft this kid, I will get his name tattooed on my ass. And that’s a certified Bobby Cappucino Promise® which has more value than most things in today’s economy.

MLN Draft #Content

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  • Hugh Allan

    Kotkaniemi has been my pick for the Leafs as well. It does appear there is a chance that the Habs take him at #3.
    If not he will slide into the second half of the top ten.
    So what would it take to interest Montreal in trading down?
    Would they be interested in Jake Gardner to play LHD on their top pairing with Shea Weber. This would be a great pairing as Gardner can provide the offense and quarterback the power play while Weber plays the defensive end of the pairing.
    Kasperi Kapanen would give Montreal great speed, skill, offense and penalty killing.
    Leafs 1st round pick, #25.
    Not sure if Bergeron would bite but Kotkaniemi would be Leafs #2 center of the future allowing Kadri to slip into the #3 roll in a couple of years.
    The great Sam Pollock said you build your team on defense and down the middle.
    A Leaf team with Matthews, Kotkaniemi and Kadri would be one of the best down the middle in the league.