Brad Treliving reveals it’s ‘more than likely’ Maple Leafs keep 2024 1st-round pick

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
17 days ago
Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving met with assembled reporters at the Encore Las Vegas on Wednesday to discuss the team’s offseason-to-date, with the 2024 NHL Draft and free agency both readily on the horizon.
Treliving said it’s ‘more than likely’ that the Maple Leafs will keep their first-round pick on Friday, via The Athletic’s Joshua Kloke.
Toronto holds the No. 23 overall pick in this year’s draft, where it’s likely it will have a number of options to go through, including defensemen EJ Emery, Aron Kiviharju, Charlie Elick or Stian Solberg among others. If the Maple Leafs select a defenseman with their first-rounder, it will be the first time they opted for a blue liner since Rasmus Sandin in 2018. If the Maple Leafs elect to select a forward, Michael Hage, Liam Greentree, Sam O’Reilly and Andrew Basha are options that ought to be considered.
Treliving will oversee his draft with the Maple Leafs. As part of the terms of accepting the Maple Leafs’ GM role, Treliving was barred from the draft floor until the Calgary Flames made their first-round selection during last summer’s event.
“I think in most recent drafts… listen, everyone probably has a different list,” Treliving said. “I’d say in the last number of years, you may have a different order in the top-five, top-ten. But 32 teams probably have eight of the guys there. I think it could probably be all over the place right now. Some really good players. I think when you have a situation like that, it lends itself to have some fallers, as we call. There may be someone you have higher than somebody else does.
“I think there’s going to be players available — now, we’re at No. 23, whether it gets down to that— there are players on some people’s list who will be taken at No. 10 or 15. We’re comfortable with the group of players we’ve got there right now. We’ll see. As it is with every draft, until the names start coming off the board, I’m pretty confident I know who’s going No. 1. After that, it will be interesting to see how the board folds.”
Toronto shocked the hockey world by selecting Easton Cowan at No. 28 during the 2023 NHL Draft. Cowan was a late riser who elevated his game during the 2023 OHL playoffs as a member of the London Knights and it was enough for Wes Clark and his staff to be sold on a gamebreaking talent. Cowan followed up by winning OHL MVP, OHL Playoff MVP and was one game away from an elusive junior triple crown as his Knights lost in the Memorial Cup Final to the Saginaw Spirit. It looks like a terrific pick and return on value a year later.
Treliving didn’t tip his hand but what’s clear is that the Maple Leafs are confident they will find value at No. 23. We’ll find out Friday night!

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