No miracles in yesterday’s draft lottery.
Here’s the history of the eighth overall pick dating back to 1990:
The top 20 prospects per the March ISS rankings:
|4||Dal Colle, Michael||C||6/20/1996||L||6.01.5||182||Oshawa||OHL||67||95|
|6||Draisaitl, Leon||C||10/27/1995||L||6.01.5||204||Prince Albert||WHL||64||105|
|9||Tuch, Alex||RW||5/10/1996||R||6.03.5||213||USA Under-18||NTDP||26||32|
|10||Fleury, Haydn||LD||7/8/1996||L||6.02.5||203||Red Deer||WHL||70||46|
|15||McCann, Jared||C||5/31/1996||L||6.00.25||179||S.S. Marie||OHL||64||62|
|16||Larkin, Dylan||LW||7/30/1996||L||6.00.75||190||USA Under-18||NTDP||26||26|
|18||Milano, Sonny||LW||5/12/1996||L||5.11.5||183||USA Under-18||NTDP||25||39|
Nick Ritchie is going to get a lot of play in Leafland because he’s this draft’s “next Lucic,” while Jared McCann should also be the center (wink) of much discussion as he might the best natural pivot available if the Leafs remain in the eight spot and he’s also an Ontario boy.
Hump day links…
- James Reimer and Morgan Rielly are headed to the World Championships for Canada. Bozak might be as well. Gardiner is confirmed for Team USA.
- Mirtle: Randy Carlyle left twisting in the wind by Maple Leafs
- ICYMI: Randy Carlyle’s End of Season Presser [Video]
- Carlyle: Leafs didn’t compete defensively, lacked identity
- VLM: First round of NHL playoffs is the best hockey of the year – by far
- PPP: What is the point of Colton Orr?
- Mc79hockey: The Carlyle Effect
- Tweet: The Maple Leafs had 300+ more defensive zone faceoffs than any other team last season.
- MLHS yesterday: 5 questions on Barry Trotz
Also, I've opined on Robby Fabbri who is another kid, who althouth is more of a longshot, is a kid I would love to add to the organization. Given the options from 8-13, Perlini, McCann, Ritchie, and having heard very good things about Virtanen and Fleury, I wouldn't be upset if the Leafs made a deal with Anaheim to pick up their #10 overall and their undetermined first for the #8 and perhaps #68 and something else to pick up one of those 5.
The prospects in the 20-30 range there are certainly good finds there. Fabbri I really like, McKeown has a chance to be a really solid 4-5 type guy and could develop as high as a #3 d-man, Ho-Sang in that range has the possibility to bust completely, or be a serious SERIOUS offensive threat, and I mean HIGH END 65+ points kind of skill, (size concerns, and softer than a wet paper plate, VERY dynamic and dangerous though). Haven't seen Sarnia, I know they have two players sitting in around there. Brendan Lemieux... I do not like. But still, there's goodies to be found there too.
My 0.02 cents:
As some of you remember I've followed the OHL a bit this year with an eye on draft eligible (or really the 16 and 17 year olds) players and have had a chance to see all but Nick Ritchie (who I was supposed to see in Kingston until traffic on the 401 stopped me from doing so...)
I'd say by far the most impressive player of the bunch in regards to McCann, Ritchie and Perlini would be Brendan Perlini. At the OHL level he simply is a game changer. He has effortless skating and with rangy strides covers a TON of ice. Can really get in on the forecheck and wins possession along the boards. Has a good shot, and very good (although, not mind blowing) offensive skills. I've heard a comparison to JvR, and plays a similar style of game, big but not a banger, but a terrific fluid skater who's dangerous with the puck both to create for linemates and a shooting threat. I see him projecting easily as a second line winger, and if he develops well he could become a 60-70 point type of player in the NHL. CANNOT overlook his 6'3 stature.
McCann is probably less dynamic and less "skilled" but displays a high hockey IQ. positions himself well, and has a tremendous anticipation of the unfolding play. Plays a physical brand of hockey and a strong two-way game. It's a rudimentary comparison but I think with him you get more of a Ryan Kesler type of player. He's gritty and physical in his compete, but not physical like Ritchie will be. I think there's definitely the chance for him to produce in the NHL, but he's certainly not a top-end offensive prospect and is likely more of a second or third line centre. He could be mike Fisher, he could be Ryan Kesler, but you'll get a solid dependable centre capable of at least 16-18 mins a night with 50-65 point type of potential.
I haven't seen Ritchie, so it's hard for me to comment BUT... He is keep in mind an 18 year old in his 3rd season of junior and by birth year one year OLDER than the other two. Currently, Ritchie is probably one of the toughest 5 or 10 fighters in the OHL PERIOD. Kid can flat out fight and kicks the shit out of people. His offensive production/skills and skating I can;t comment on, however, I will dare to say his skillset is less impressive than the other two because of the added value of his top-end grit and toughness. However, I will venture to say you really don't know how this kid will pan out, and his attitude will probably make all the difference. I'd say as a prospect he'd probably be more akin to Zach Kassian who it seems a poor attitude has held him back from achieving his potential. Keep in mind Kassian was #13 overall, was a top heavyweight in the OHL and had significant offensive production much like Ritchie.
All in all, I think Ritchie is probably your pick if you covet a guy who COULD score anywhere between 30 and 55-60 points AND add 100 PIMS and be a legitimate fighter, but may fall anywhere between the 4th or 2nd line. McCann is probably the safest bet being a heady high-IQ centre with a strong two-way game and would strike me as a details team first guy. Perlini probably has by far the highest upside of any of the 3, and IMO, I love the kid, I feel like he's really got a chance with time to develop to really shine with his size. Best skater of the 3, not as strong but much faster and in the neutral zone far more dangerous than Dal Colle even. He's an ultra telented kid, and by all accounts has worked incredibly hard off ice and in the off season to put himself on the map which speaks to his character.
Drafting opinion: Jared McCann, if Leafs can't draft Bennett or Dal Colle, which seems like impossible right now anyways, maybe Dal Colle might slip to 6th or 7th though. McCann seems like the logical pick at 8th just because what he can bring as a good 2 way C. Easily 2nd line potential, could be a faster Mike Richards. From all the flip flopping on the fence comments about Perlini and Ritchie it might be better to take the sure thing right?
Another thought; if Cory Schneider is worth a 9th overall pick alone, wouldn't Jake Gardiner be worth to close the same value? Its seems including Jake and our 1st to move up 3 or 4 spots doesn't make sense. If Leafs some how traded down to a Team like the Ducks and got their 2 1st it would make sense. Than maybe trade one of the now lower 1st with Gardiner would be worth the trade. Asset management and imagination is what drives these good teams like Boston, Chicago and Detroit. Sadly Leafs have been on the opposite side of these trades with all them.
Smart or Dumb
Took a pass on maxi pad for Parise in my pool in the fourth round (best available)
#no habs ever
Roommate works for the Ice Dogs and said he has seen a few games of Ritchie. I know it's not much but it's a lot more than the 0 minutes of him I have seen. Says he will be pissed if the Leafs draft him and he is the most overrated guy in the draft
If our UFAs walk will we see this? I wouldnt overly mind I guess but it would likely mean no playoffs again
I have pretty good faith in the leafs scouting. They seem to have done a good job. Look at when they picked Kadri, theres not a single player after in the 1st round I would have rather had. Others later like O relly we passed but those are late bloomers
Either Virtkanen or Ritchie upgrades our top 6. Ritchie May have more grit , but I wonder if Virtkanen doesn't have more upside
Just watched the top 10 goal above. Note to Leafs. if the Isles offer Calvin De Hann for Reimer, decline
@Sundin_13 IMO, #1 pick SHOULD be Ekblad. Bennett is pretty damn good, but IDK, Ekblad is an absolute HORSE. Legitimate shot to be a top 20 or even top 10 defender in the league. Plays shut down d, can rush the puck, and has an absolute cannon. He's nasty at times. I was in Barrie for his 4-goal night vs. Kingston and I can tell you I was impressed with Bennets agility, his skill level, his ability to find the soft spots, and not backing down. But I will tell you Ekblad dominated the game, and I was impressed with Bennet's compete for at least standing up to Ekblad's abuse.
Ekblad scored 1 SH with a BOMB of a clapper, 2 PP snipes (writer top cheese, bard down both of them, on a 5-on-3 and the 5-on-4 off the same pair of penalties) and a ES goal. Physically dominant.
I wouldn't be able to pass Ekblad up even with #1 because TBH Bennett is probably a little more like RNH, Seguin calibre of player: very high-end. But I see Ekblad as a Pronger, a Chara, a Weber: a dominating D-man who plays 30 mins and can shut you down and beat you offensively. You just don't get too many chances at those players.
@DIGGLER _69 I have ZERO negative to say about Perlini other than if he brought the compete EVERY shift, he'd be in the conversation for top 5 against Dal Colle.
Dal Colle btw is far more one dimensional, he's good along the boards, hard to knock off the puck, and finds a way to get to the middle and release an absolute Kessel type laser beam. Kid can snipe. But without the puck, he's a gun with no bullet.
Mike Richards is a good comparison, he does skate better, but I'd say the sheer determination and pedigree of Mike Richards... it's a lofty comparison. That's why I like to use Kesler, he's not so much of a "big name" but still conveys that solid two-way, physical player who has 50-60 point potential.
@Burtonboy the play-offs are dead to me
@Bruffins It would be nice to move up to get one of Bennett, Draisaitl, or Reinhart,
@Bruffins So, Ritchie then right?
@Jordan29 Leivo only had 39 point in 57 games, and to put him on the seccond line would seem to suggest in 6 months of off-season work he's ready to duplicate his AHL production in the NHL. Unlikely.
Let's remember Gustav Nyquist and Thomas Tater essentially spent the majority or all of 3 season in the AHL before EARNING/STEALING jobs from injured regulars, the way it should be done. Don't hand these kids spots who "look ready" make 'em either win it in camp and have to hold off the incumbent for 82 games, or come in and steal it away.
@wiski LOL when I first read through this I thought she was asking if she or IceSingh had the better beard
@Biltmore Nah, trade Franson + Reimer + our 1st for Calgary or EDM's 1st and draft Bennett
@Jordan29 I think they do fine as well. Hope they turned their attention to the Leafs own roster this season, gave them a good critical look
@Burtonboy Yeaaaaa Gauuthier my man ,hes big and skilled but I think he needs to get a little more nasty wait he reminds me of su........ nevermind Go Marlies Gooooooooooo
@Burtonboy Is he old enough to join the Marlies from the beginning of next season?
@Zep2 Maybe in 5 years they will. Neither plays in the NHL next year.
Patience, young grasshopper. Nyquist didn't become an NHL regular till 24, Tater at 23, Kadri was 22 or 23, Bobby Ryan didn't become full-time NHLer till 21, same for James Neal. Look at Mika Zbenejad (fuck your spelling!) who's a really solid prospect and how the learning curve will take him till he's at least 22-23 to be a real big-time contributor. #2 or #3 overall Kyle Turris took until 23 to start really producing offensively, and the same for #2 overall JvR who stayed back in NCAA and then had seasons of being "kinda" productive.
@MaxwellHowe Strome for Reimer
@CanuckUKinToronto Nope. No way
@CanuckUKinToronto Habs fans?
@CanuckUKinToronto Only until CBJ-Pit comes on
@Savo43 Really what is the significance of that?
Keep in mind Niagara had a 58 point season, and finished the season 11 games UNDER .500 (24W, 35L) and didn't qualify until 3 or 4 days from the end of the season despite the bottom feeders of Mississauga, Ottawa and Belleville.
It's a 7 game sample, all against a team which was significantly better. I've had the chance to see him at different times, and the reality of it is that if he had a bad series, which it appears the WHOLE team did not produce offensively on top of Perlini being held off the scoresheet, I still would not give much credence to it.
It's about the body of work versus any one tournament, playoff, or streak.