So, what should the Leafs do at the draft?

The draft starts today!

So we asked our staff a simple question:

Which prospect you want at 25th, who’s one late round gem you’d like the Leafs to draft, and what’s one trade you’d like to see?

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Pick at 25: We’ll all end up looking stupid because someone so much better than who we have listed will be available and the Leafs will take that player. In that ideal situation the Leafs take Denisenko or Lundestrom, or (insert name of guy who actually slid). If we’re looking at the best of who is likely to be there that they take, it’s probably Ryan McLeod for me. I like the fast boys.

One Trade: I am hard pressed to think of one involving the Leafs giving up Brown, Nielsen and a 2nd, so I’ll say I hope the Leafs find someone looking for their own Tom Wilson/Ryan Reaves and give up anything for Matt Martin. In the absence of that happening, clearing Ron Hainsey’s contract would also be nice.

Late Round Gem: My life would be complete if Bulat Shafigullin is drafted by the Leafs. His point totals in the Russian junior league have been off the charts, and while he’s considered one dimensional, his one dimension is the one you really want and he’s very good at it.

Ryan Hobart

I want the Leafs to take a center at 25 if they stay there. There’s a high likelihood that one of Lundestrom, Bokk, Kupari, Veleno, or Thomas will be available there and the Leafs really need to add to their pipeline at that position. If I’m picking just one, I’m really hoping they can land Kupari.

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A trade I’m hoping for, though, is to trade down that 25th pick to multiple second round picks. There’s a ridiculous amount of depth in this draft, so if someone like Bokk falls, maybe you can get a team to bite on a trade up. Bokk is the kind of player who could be very high on some team’s radars and very low on others. There’s a good potential for him to slip.

Lastly, I haven’t had a ton of time to look into later round selections for this draft, but a name that has popped up for me is Linus Nyman. I’ve seen him play a few times for the Kingston Frontenacs and love his creativity. To imagine that a 1.25 points-per-game OHL player could go in the 4th or 5th round is surprising. But maybe it’s not all that surprising since he’s just 5’10”, and in his second year of being draft eligible after going undrafted in his proper draft year.

Ryan Fancey

Put me in the Rasmus Sandin camp for 25th. If not him, Merkley would be fun. As for trades, I’d like to see Zaitsev get moved for a pick in the second round.

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I don’t have a late-round gem because I’m stupid and don’t know a ton about the draft class.

Megan Kim

My ideal draft for the Leafs is for them to take Mitchell Gibson in the fifth round. Send tweet.

Hayley Hendren

same as meggo tbh

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Scott Maxwell

I can’t say I’m super familiar with the prospects in this draft (I usually get familiar with the top 5-10 picks cuz I’m used to the Leafs picking there, and the one year they haven’t, a top 5-10 pick in Liljegren fell to them), but all the stuff I’m hearing about Ryan Merkley makes me hope that he falls to the Leafs, and it certainly seems like there could be that potential.
One trade that I’d like to see at the draft that’ll impact the Leafs is the Sens trading Erik Karlsson for much less than he’s worth, because it’d be hilarious to see how much worse this train wreck can get.
As for a late round steal, I’m not sure how highly regarded this Rasmus Dahlin kid is among the mainstream media, but some of my sources tell me that he’d be a pretty good pick in the later rounds of the draft. (edited)


The Leafs should draft the best player available. It’s hard to say exactly who that will be, but I’d be happy if the Leafs don’t overlook an obvious choice.

When it comes to trades, the obvious player to move is Zaitsev so I’m going to mention someone else who everyone seems to forget about. I’m interested to see if any team would like to take a flyer on Josh Leivo, even if he’s a throw-in for a larger deal. Trading him would free a roster spot that was basically wasted last year, and he only has one year remaining on his contract which carries a $925K cap hit. He’s 25 so I’m sure he can find somewhere to play. The Leafs should get rid of him if they can.

I don’t know enough about this draft class to have a late round gem but if the Leafs want to draft me I wouldn’t say no.

Thomas Williams

Pick at 25: Any good player with a high ceiling. No idea who that is, but I would love a Berggren, Dellandrea, Gustafsson, or Lundestrom. Forwards are more valuable anyways. Get that talent. If not, K’Andre Miller is good too.

One Trade: Clear some space and get rid of useless players. Upgrade in positions and all that shit. Zaitsev for Pysyk or something.

Late-Round Gem: Cam Hillis. He might not go in the later rounds, but would certainly be a player to look at in the top-100 picks. A right-handed center that played for St. Andrews College. Plus, he’s from Oshawa.

Bobby Cappucino

It’s funny, I’ve been the noted leader of the Jesperi Kotkaniemi fan club since he was ranked 10 spots lower than Rasmus Kupari in the first public draft rankings. A few months later, Kupari is actually starting to become underrated, as they’ve essentially switched spots in most rankings. I am really hoping Kupari is available at 25. He has all the tools you look for in a centre (speed, size, skill) and I really like his potential development options – something Dubas has placed a lot of emphasis on. I think he’s a home run swing type of pick.

Trade-wise, I’d love to see the Leafs package Connor Brown, Andrew Nielsen/Jeremy Bracco, and a 2nd round pick for an elite player.

For a late-round pick, I really like Linus Nyman. He’s an overager, but has tremendous skill and skating ability. He’s heading to Liiga next year, which I think is a tremendous decision for his development. Other than Nyman, I like basically any Russian or Euro the Leafs can keep stashed in one of the other pro leagues for awhile to marinate.

MLN Draft #Content


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  • Tommy Cat

    Clear Hainsey’s contract???? What an absolutely dumb thing to say. Watch the game b’y instead of the spreadsheets and flawed stats. Hainsey was a workhorse for us in a shallow position. Did everything asked and way way more. Trade ol’ Dash-5 if you want to make improvement to the blue line. Clear addition by subtraction there.