Let’s start with the fact that whether you pick 25th overall or 20th overall, or 30th overall the story is going to be somewhat the same and teams that scout well, draft well, and those who don’t will select Stuart Percy. The 25th overall pick is just the card the Leafs have been dealt and in the grand tradition of finding filler content in June before teams actually start doing things, let’s take a walk down memory lane to see who has been drafted 25th overall in the previous drafts of this century.
Year
Player
POS
Drafting Team
Drafted from
GP
G
A
P
2021
Corson Ceulemans
D
Columbus
Brooks Bandits [AJHL]
2020
Justin Barron
D
Colorado
Halifax Mooseheads [QMJHL]
7
1
1
2
2019
Connor McMichael
C
Washington
London Knights [OHL]
69
9
9
18
2018
Dominik Bokk
L
St. Louis
Vaxjo HC [SweHL]
2017
Ryan Poehling
C
Montreal
St. Cloud State [NCHC]
85
13
9
22
2016
Riley Tufte
L
Dallas
Fargo Force [USHL]
10
1
0
1
2015
Jack Roslovic
C
Winnipeg
U.S. National Development Team [USHL]
309
60
86
146
2014
David Pastrnak
R
Boston
Sodertalje SK [Swe-1]
510
240
264
504
2013
Michael McCarron
R
Montreal
U.S. National Development Team [USHL]
126
9
13
22
2012
Jordan Schmaltz
D
St. Louis
Green Bay Gamblers [USHL]
42
0
5
5
2011
Stuart Percy
D
Toronto
Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors [OHL]
12
0
3
3
2010
Quinton Howden
C
Florida
Moose Jaw Warriors [WHL]
97
10
7
17
2009
Jordan Caron
R
Boston
Rimouski Oceanic [QMJHL]
157
12
16
28
2008
Greg Nemisz
C
Calgary
Windsor Spitfires [OHL]
15
0
1
1
2007
Patrick White
C
Vancouver
Tri-City Storm [USHL]
2006
Patrik Berglund
C
St. Louis
Vasteras IK [Swe-1]
717
170
156
326
2005
Andrew Cogliano
C
Edmonton
St. Michael’s Buzzers [OPJHL]
1140
174
252
42
2004
Rob Schremp
C
Edmonton
London Knights [OHL]
114
20
34
54
2003
Anthony Stewart
R
Florida
Kingston Frontenacs [OHL]
262
27
44
71
2002
Cam Ward
G
Carolina
Red Deer Rebels [WHL]
701
1
12
13
2001
Alexander Perezhogin
R
Montreal
Omsk Avangard [Russia]
128
15
19
3
2000
Steve Ott
C
Dallas
Windsor Spitfires [OHL]
848
109
179
288
Sigh. Stuart Percy. Do yourself a favour and don’t look at the list of players selected after Biggs and Percy and in the first and second rounds. It seemed like the Leafs went out of their way to mess up this draft.
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So as much as there are some interesting names to talk about on there, let’s start with the most recent five year history of the pick. The fact that 2 of the last 3 years have already yielded players that have made their NHL teams is a very good sign, and the idea of finding someone like Connor McMichael at 25th overall is exciting.
The past five years are generally positive, but admittedly I’m shocked by Dominik Bokk being a player that bottomed out. Interestingly enough the Leafs owned the 25th overall pick that year and one of the players many Leafs fans (including myself to some degree) wanted to see picked was Bokk. I think Dubas earned some credibility by not taking the 6’2 winger in this case and both Sandin and Der-Arguchintsev (the player selected with the 3rd round pick acquired in the trade) have more promising pro careers than Bokk.
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Looking at the ten most recent years of the draft the pick has a few iffier picks with Tufte and Schmaltz not really hitting the mark, and McCarron maxing out as serviceable depth. It did also provide the biggest home run on this list with the selection of David Pastrnak and a worthwhile middle six forward in Jack Roslovic. Finding the next Pastrnak is the dream, but given the recent success of the Leafs scouting department, it seems that expecting a Roslovic-type option is reasonable.
Excluding the five most recent years, where it seems unreasonable to expect a player to hit the 200 game mark, 7 of the 16 players selected have reached the 200 game mark. Another 4 hit the 100 game mark, and only one, Patrick White, never played a game in the NHL.  Finding players like Steve Ott, Patrik Berglund, Andrew Cogliano, and Cam Ward along with Roslovic and Pastrnak should generate some excitement, especially in what is being regarded as a deep draft.
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Perhaps the point that we should takeaway from this and one that didn’t require trivial references to past 25th overall picks is that if the Leafs use their pick at 25th overall it’s very likely the player selected could immediately be debated as the top organizational prospect. The pick is that worthwhile. It’s also worth noting that Kyle Dubas isn’t overly attached to picking when he’s supposed to, so maybe my time would have been better spent looking at top prospects selected at 28th or 29th overall instead.
Data from HockeyDB.com

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