Who will the Toronto Maple Leafs select with their 2024 first-round pick?

Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Hitmen
Steven Ellis
1 month ago
Surprise! The Toronto Maple Leafs still have their 2024 first-round pick.
The NHL Trade Deadline has come and gone, but the Leafs managed to hold on to their top pick for June’s draft in Vegas. With just one pick in the first three rounds and nothing in the first four in 2025, the Leafs won’t have a ton of opportunities to help replenish one of the worst prospect pools in the NHL.
This isn’t a strong draft, especially where Toronto’s picking. But depending on Toronto’s first-round focus – snagging scoring depth vs. taking a defenseman with high potential – there are a few decent options available if they don’t end up moving the pick before June 28.
Who could be available for the Leafs in the first round this year? Here’s a snapshot:

Andrew Basha, LW (Medicine Hat, WHL)

If there’s one thing Basha does well, it’s just adjusting to different roles. He’s not going to blow you away in the NHL with his skill, but he brings good energy and is strong defensively. Between his 5-on-5 play, his experience on the power play and the playmaking he brings to the table, Basha could be a solid top-six contributor for the Leafs down the line. He’d instantly become one of Toronto’s most valuable wingers in the system.

Dean Letourneau, C (St. Andrew’s, PHC)

Letourneau is something else. The 6-foot-7 forward moves so well for his size, and he has a net-front presence teams will die for. His numbers have been tremendous, scoring at more than a goal-per-game pace and lifting St. Andrew’s up more often than not. Letourneau can dominate puck possession with his frame, but he’s got quick hands, too. His recent performance at the Prep Hockey Conference playoffs helped improve his stock. This could be Toronto’s Tage Thompson clone.

Aron Kiviharju, LHD (HIFK, Finland)

Kiviharju is intriguing because he has the potential to be one of the best players from this draft. But considering he’s been injured since the fall, it’s hard to really gauge how good he’ll become. He started off slowly, but Kiviharju had points in his final two games as his ice time improved. Kiviharju had some bumps in the road a year ago against men, but he’s a dynamic passer who can skate like the wind. Kiviharju will need to show a lot when he returns if he is to go high in the draft. I still think there’s top-pairing potential here, and is a risk worth taking for the Leafs thanks to his high ceiling.

Cole Hutson, LHD (USNTDP)

Could you imagine the Hutson brothers going at it in the future in a Canadian divisional rivalry? The 5-foot-10 blueliner mirrors a lot of Lane’s best qualities – puck-moving, hockey IQ, you name it. But he’s lacking power on his shot and can still get caught trying to do too much with the puck. You don’t want to see him simplify things because Lane’s creativity has made him so good in college, but if you get Cole with the right defense partner who can hold the fort in their own zone, he’ll be an excellent pickup. Some scouts think there’s the potential for Cole to be better than Lane, for what its worth – but we’ll have to see how he adjusts to the college ranks.

Ryder Ritchie, RW (Prince Albert, WHL)

Ritchie isn’t big, but he’s skilled, and he can reach a high top speed that makes him difficult to contain. Ritchie has NHL pedigree – his father, Byron Ritchie, and uncle, Andreas Johansson, both played eight seasons in the NHL. Ritchie is quite mature for his age, too. He has struggled to stay consistent this year, but he’s so difficult to contain when he’s on his game. His play at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer showed how good he is with the puck, and could be a nice middle-six scoring winger for the Leafs in the long run.

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