Hope of the Leafs picking first overall remain alive

First off, congratulations to the NHL for landing on the most interesting outcome for a change. My goodness, I might have been starved for hockey content, but the NHL draft delivered on everything I hoped it would.

Here is the draft outcome…

8th pick Buffalo Sabres
7th pick New Jersey Devils
6th pick Anaheim Ducks
5th pick Ottawa Senators
4th pick Detroit Red Wings
3rd pick Ottawa Senators
2nd pick Los Angeles Kings
1st pick TBD

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According to the NHL, the eight teams that lose the play-in round of the playoffs will all have an equal opportunity to be selected 1st overall, the Leafs, who have a top ten protection on the pick they sent to Carolina have a shot at that pick, but otherwise will not find their way into the top ten in this draft. Presumably the Hurricanes will be cheering for the Leafs in the play-in round.

I’m not sure if that is what I want, and think the Leafs have a good chance of making a go of it in the playoffs, but if you want to read about why this wouldn’t be a bad thing, check out Scott Maxwell’s post from earlier today on why the Leafs getting swept by the Blue Jackets would be a good thing. It looks like we are back to having a Tank Nation element of the Toronto fanbase.

What we know for sure

  1. There is still a shot that the 1st overall pick could fall into enemy hands in the Atlantic. Both the Canadiens and Panthers could just as easily walk away with it as the Leafs. Though who are we kidding, the Oilers are totally winning this.
  2. The Kings winning the 2nd overall pick is great for pushing another elite player out of the Eastern Conference.
  3. While Ottawa is still going to get a good player at 3rd and 5th, this is about as good as any of us could have hoped for in regards to them not dominating the draft. Of course they still have 2 picks in the top 5, another 1st round pick via the Islanders (assuming they lose lottery 2, and the Senators have a total of 7 picks in the first two rounds. Still they aren’t getting their guy, and that’s great.
  4. Ditto for the outcome being great regarding the Red Wings. Absolutely tanking the season yielded them the worst possible outcome for their team, and not giving a leg up to Steve Yzerman is fantastic.
  5. It also seems important we laugh at the Sabres for sliding a spot in the draft given their disastrous situation.
  6. Taylor Hall’s draft lottery streak could remain intact if the Coyotes win the lottery after losing the play-in.

So here we are. Suddenly at least a little invested in the top ten prospects of the draft. Using Bob McKenzie’s list that looks like the following:

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  1. Alexis Lafreniere- LW- Rimouski (QMJHL)
  2. Tim Stutzle- C/RW- Mannheim (DEL)
  3. Quinton Byfield- C- Sudbury (OHL)
  4. Jamie Drysdale- D- Erie (OHL)
  5. Cole Perfetti- C/LW- Saginaw (OHL)
  6. Lucas Raymond- RW- Frolunda (SHL)
  7. Marco Rossi- C- Ottawa (OHL)
  8. Jake Sanderson- D- USNTDP
  9. Alexander Holtz- LW/RW- Djurgardens (SHL)
  10. Jack Quinn- RW – Ottawa (OHL)

I guess the NHL has successfully demonstrated there is a lot of excitement around the league, and now there is increased investment in the outcomes of the play-in round. Pretty much an ideal event for the league.