Draft Weekend: Who we takin’?

Draft Weekend: Who we takin’?

2211
NHL Draft

Bob McKenzie polled a bunch of NHL scouts about the top prospects of the draft class and tweeted the results. The following couple of tweets piqued my interest, as they mentioned a few prospects who are likely to figure into the Leafs range:

 

 

It seems likely, given his upside, there will be a team that likes Anthony Mantha enough to take him before 21.  There is a shot he’ll be there when the Leafs draft (if they stay at 21). He’s not a center, but the Leafs could really use the infusion of a high-ceiling scoring talent into the system, be it a center or winger. In the same vein, LW Kerby Rychel plays a bit of a power forward’s game and owns a big shot. He should be on the board at 21 and has back-to-back 40 goal seasons to his name, keeping concerns about his skating and preferential treatment in Windsor in mind. Valentin Zykov is another pure scoring winger (40 in 67 games in the Q this season) with decent size and better wheels than Rychel. All of these options, all 40+ goal scorers this past season, involve a gamble, but the Leafs seem well stocked with depth forwards in the pipeline and the only way they can score big in the late 1st is by taking a chance. You can throw Morgan Klimchuk’s name into the mix, too. This all barring a trade up, of course…

I do like big centermen, but – granted, based mostly on his numbers – I’m not ecstatic about Fred Gauthier’s upside and think the pick would err on the safe side. It could be true that Morrison and his team prefer to lean on the surer bets later on in the first, based on their picks of Percy and Biggs in 2011. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

 

Morning Links..

Some Saturday morning draft profile reading…

Teams are piling up with interest in Lecavalier
If the rumours are true about Vinny preferring to stay south (and avoid Canada and its taxes), SJ could be the spot. The Leafs are in a position to pretty much hand him the 1C role though (next to some fine wing talent to boot), which wouldn’t be the case with the Sharks.

leafs-dont-hold-your-breath”>Letang to Toronto? Don’t hold your breath
Sage advice. Definitely feels like the Toronto stuff was the product of an agent looking to put the heat on Shero.

What was your favourite Maple Leaf Draft Day?
From Michael at VLM.

Three 2012 Leafs picks invited To Team Canada’s Summer Camp.
Morgan Rielly, Matt Finn and Ryan Rupert.

Dave Nonis’ uneventful media availability from yesterday afternoon
Nice chandelier though.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]