Monday Mailbag: Draft Week Edition

It breaks my heart that no one asked about the Max Domi trade and how it affects the Leafs? I was really hoping we’d get to start off the mailbag by laughing at the Habs for continuing to take steps backwards in futile attempt to climb out of the basement.

I would have pointed out that we’d need to start worrying about the very real possibility that this is a calculated tanking for Jack Hughes next summer, but I would have also included that Bergevin isn’t smart enough to be doing that.

Anyway, here are your questions…

This is a very handsome question and one I’m only too pleased to answer in the least satisfying way. The importance of a strong development system and talent pipeline can never be understated. This is how you’ll find the majority of the best players in your organization, and affordably fill out your roster with talent that is likely capable of excelling beyond the role they’ve been assigned to. In the NHL depth is God, and development and promotions are how you have long term success.

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However, the Leafs are in a situation right now where they have a lot of the right pieces in place, and still have some promising players coming up through the ranks. Moving assets to win now is how a team is going to put themselves over the top. There’s also the matter of glaring roster holes (waddup, RHD?) that need to be addressed.

I imagine any team in the NHL could sign John Carlson, but the better question is should they?

I’d argue most teams probably shouldn’t. It’s not that Carlson isn’t a good defenseman, it’s just that he’s probably not $8-9M/yr for 7 years good.

Not that Carlson in anyway is a similar defender to Dion Phaneuf, but I’d have to say a John Carlson long term contract would bring about that uncomfortable Dion Phaneuf feeling fairly quickly. I’d also say I’d hate to see William Nylander or Mitch Marner traded somewhere down the line because the Leafs had to accommodate John Carlson’s contract.

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This certainly isn’t the worst idea that a desperate team could attempt. That being said, the NHL is so risk averse that there’s no way that teams are going to be throwing money and giving up a high pick for someone who largely just has AHL and SHL success on his credits at this point.

For me this is a simple one because only one of these players should have been drafted in the top 5, and it wasn’t Juolevi.

I’m fairly optimistic the Leafs will be starting next season with a capable defender beside Morgan Rielly, and Ron Hainsey will be relegated to his rightful role as depth defender.

I still for the life of me can’t figure out why either the Flames or Jets would part with Hamilton or Trouba though. Hamilton was very good for the Flames, and Trouba will only take on a bigger role as age eventually catches up with Byfuglien.

Players like Mark Pysyk seem to be more reasonable, attainable options, and the same can probably be said for Justin Faulk as well.

If Benoit-Olivier Groulx is available at 52, he’s definitely a player worth considering and I think the Leafs may have a centre in mind for that pick. Personally I’m a fan of Blade Jenkins, and think that he’s the kind of swing for the fences pick the Leafs should drop into what has become a stellar development program.

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This the only reason to truly entertain the idea of trading Jake Gardiner. Moreso than figuring out Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews contracts for 2019-20, the Gardiner contract needs to be established because if he’s not part of the long term plans he needs to be dealt for the best possible return that will still have the opportunity to help the Leafs.

As good as JVR was in the late part of the season, keeping him around for a failed playoff run looks pretty bad now.

I hate to end the mailbag on the sour note of JVR leaving and Gardiner being traded so…

The Mapleleafsnation.com draft party will be held at Adam Laskaris’ place. Bring plenty of Coor’s Light and DM him for the details.

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