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Maple Leafs and the trade deadline: Which team owns which draft pick?

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Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Jon Steitzer
1 month ago
Fifteen days. That’s all that is remaining until we have to come up with practical ideas about how the Maple Leafs improve instead of just saying “trade for this guy and everything will be fixed.” It’s getting close and if you are already exhausted by trade season, the end is in sight, but the worst is still yet to come.
Still, in the spirit of the trade deadline season, it’s worth acknowledging what is going to be on the move more than anything else and those are draft picks. There are already five first round picks that have been firmly dealt for this year. There are another four that have conditions on them, as well as the hilarious situation where the Ottawa Senators have to choose whether to forfeit a 1st round pick in 2024, 2025, or 2026 (SPOILER: they choose 2026). With draft pundits claiming this is a 20 player draft it seems likely that the 10 teams currently sitting in a playoff position (including the Maple Leafs) that still own their first rounders, could be looking to make moves given the lack of depth in this draft class.
Looking at the above table the Leafs find themselves presently sitting in an interesting position in regard to whether or not dealing the first round pick is a good idea. The simple math says that if this is a 20 player draft and you are pick 23, you are probably out of luck.
On the other hand, that would be only requiring three teams to whiff on their picks out of 20 and there is a good chance that if you are not a playoff team, you are probably whiffing on your scouting on occasion. There is also the matter of playoff upsets and if the Leafs don’t make it out of the first couple of rounds. If it is possible for teams below the Leafs to advantage into the conference finals, their final draft seeding will improve. Of course, the Leafs could also see their record improve a lot in the final stretch, move beyond the 23rd spot and possibly even make it out of the first couple of playoff rounds too meaning they would be dealing a later pick. It comes down to how much Treliving wants to bet on the Leafs this year.
As for the Leafs later picks, the conditions on the Leafs 5th rounder are that Toronto gets the lowest held 5th rounder of the Blackhawks, and presently the pick they received from Calgary is that 5th.
When it comes to sizing up who will potentially be tough to compete with in the trade market, the Rangers and Golden Knights are the two teams that stand out. Both of these teams will trade their first round pick without giving it a second thought. Edmonton has also been a living for today team in the final year of Ken Holland as the GM, and both Colorado and Dallas are pretty much guaranteed to part with their 1sts if the opportunity arises as well.
In general, the Carolina Hurricanes look to be in the best position to deal futures at the trade deadline, as no other contending team has more picks within the first couple of rounds, with the exception of the Flyers or Predators, both of whom seem more concerned about selling than worrying about doing damage in the playoffs.
As for the 2025 draft, the Leafs find themselves in a tougher spot than most. No first round pick. No second round pick. And with that lack of flexibility and a shallow prospect pool, the difficulty level is going to go up and will likely have some influence on what is done this season too.

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