One of the things we haven’t really done on this site in a while is talk about the entry draft. There’s a couple of good reasons for that. The most obvious one is that the Leafs are good now and we’re not eyeballing the top of the draft like we used to. That’s a good a problem.
The other reason is that the Leafs don’t have a first round pick this year. This is a far less good problem, but is also completely justified by the fact the Leafs added Jake Muzzin in that process. That’s probably not a decision you can make every year, but the Leafs current situation dictated that paying a hefty price for a player who is essentially the 2D on the team is the right call. It just makes for a boring first night of the draft unless you expect the Leafs to try and shed some salary and get back into the first round. (I want to believe this and so help any of you if you try to take that from me.)
The Leafs Picks
With the second round of the playoffs closing last night, that basically set the draft order for all but four teams, and it means that all of the Leafs picks can now have an overall pick number attached to them, with the exception of the St. Louis 4th round pick acquired in the Nikita Soshnikov trade.
The Leafs are in the 22nd position in the draft, meaning they would have picked 22nd overall, but that’s the pick now belonging to the Kings.
Here is the Leafs pick breakdown:
2nd Round- 53rd Overall
3rd Round- 84th Overall
4th Round- 115th Overall
4th Round- (between 121-124th Overall acquired from Blues)
5th Round- 146th Overall
7th Round- 204th Overall (acquired from Stars)
7th Round- 208th Overall
Looks like a good year for Thommie Bergman to find diamonds in the rough.
Here’s the total league picture as of this moment:
With the exception of the Hurricanes there was certainly a trend of playoff teams selling off their picks this year and there are 6 teams picking 10 times in the draft, and 5 more picking 9 times. There are five teams with 2 first round picks, and you’d have to think that those late picks of the Rangers, Sabres, and Ducks would all be in play. It’s never fun to have to sell off your team to make cap space, but the Leafs might be doing so in an ideal year.
Is the 53rd pick worth talking about?
Well, last year the Leafs took Sean Durzi at 52 and he was a good enough player to be included as a piece in the deal for Muzzin. The Penguins took Calen Addison, a player that some had considered a potential 1st rounder last year, and at least in my opinion, the guy the Leafs should have picked.
Past 10 years of 53rd Overall:
2018: Calen Addison- D (Pittsburgh)
2017: Jack Studnicka- C (Boston)
2016: Filip Hronek- D (Detroit)
2015: Rasmus Andersson- D (Calgary)
2014: Noah Rod- W (San Jose)
2013: Madison Bowey- D (Washington)
2012: Brian Hart- W (Tampa Bay)
2011: William Karlsson- C (Anaheim)
2010: Mark Alt- D (Carolina)
2009: Anton Rodin- D (Vancouver)
Those picks really showcase the mixed bag that you can get in the 2nd round. William Karlsson and potentially Addison and Andersson show what the upside of a 2nd round pick can be. The rest show that quite often you are looking at serviceable players, callups, career AHLers, and some outright busts. The Leafs recent track record with second round picks is encouraging, heck, even Yegor Korshkov is coming over next year, so a 53rd overall pick likely means the Leafs will be adding a solid prospect.