Home 2013 Entry Draft
The 2013 NHL Entry Draft Coverage from Maple Leafs Hot Stove. Player previews, draft picks and other information provided, as always, from MLHS. Join the conversation!

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Director of Amateur Scouting Dave Morrison is a great interview (video) when it comes to the Leafs prospects and the scouting process. In case you missed it, or if you prefer the written word, here’s the transcript of his thoughts on each Leaf draftee from Sunday’s draft.

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The Leafs opted for size and two-way ability down the middle at 21st overall, drafting a 6’5, 214-pounder out of Quebec in Frederik Gauthier. As a player who “needs to work on his offensive game” and who was under a PPG in the Q (worth noting that he broke his jaw during the season), this pick may be a little on the safe side compared to say, the higher offensive ceiling of Hunter Shinkaruk (who slid down and was available at 21). That said, there’s no denying the value of a good centerman and the need for depth at the position. How you feel about this selection depends on whether you like the late-first-round approach of safer picks with strong fundamentals or if you would prefer to role the dice a little on higher upside.

Profile after the jump.

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NHL Draft

The Leafs will welcome ~seven new prospects into the organization over the course of the afternoon and evening. If it’s all they do, that’s fine by me.

Some news and rumours tidbits from the past couple of hours:

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The buzz as we approach the 3 p.m. draft is that Carolina’s fifth overall pick is in play. Darren Dreger reports that the Maple Leafs have discussed a trade up scenario with Carolina but that it might cost the Leafs “Morgan Rielly as part of a package.” Presumably the Leafs’ 21st pick would also be involved, amounting to a pretty handsome price. Rielly was their fifth overall pick last June, so it would have to be a player they’re really sold on if Nonis is giving up Rielly-plus for another fresh prospect. While it’s important to keep in mind the strength of the top 10 in this draft, that’s still a price that only makes sense for a MacKinnon, Jones or Drouin in my opinion. Dreger is reporting that such a package was discussed, but that no deal is close.

Plenty of chatter but no moves so far this weekend. Regardless of the amount of trade activity today, it will be a busier draft day than usual with all 7 rounds going down today at the Prudential Centre starting at 3 p.m. EST. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on TSN.

As it stands now, the Leafs will pick in each round, selecting 21st, 51st, 82nd, 117th, 142nd, 172nd & 202nd today.

I can’t imagine much changes – Dave Morrison told us as much – with it being Nonis’ first draft at the helm, given he was already an assistant GM for four years and it’s the same Leafs draft team sans Burke. But for what it’s worth, I’ve amassed Dave Nonis’ drafting record as Canucks GM after the jump:

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With a little over a week left until the NHL Draft, teams are going into crunch time as scouts race to finalize their draft rankings. These are the days where as a scout, you decide once and for all just how much you’re to advocate for your player. Sometimes if a single scout’s voice is loud enough, it may make all the difference in how high a surprise player can climb. Our next player has the potential to do exactly that – either you love him or you hate him – Val-d’Or forward Anthony Mantha.

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As the playoffs head into their final weeks, it’s become clear once again that size does matter. The ability to win battles along the boards, play a punishing physical game and own the front of the net has allowed the Boston Bruins to steamroll through the New York Rangers and now the Pittsburgh Penguins. I have no doubt that Maple Leafs is paying close attention and is eagerly counting down the days until the likes of Joe Colborne and Tyler Biggs are ready to suit up for the club on a full-time basis. Should they so choose, there may an opportunity to add even more size up front with their 21st overall selection this June. Next up in our 2013 NHL Draft Series is the powerful two-way centre out of Rimouski, Frederik Gauthier.

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Here we are, five weeks away from the draft and we are still waiting on the Leafs final draft position. At this point it seems like it’s going to be either 20th or 21st depending on whether or not the Red Wings can close out the Blackhawks. Either way, it certainly doesn’t match the fanfare of last season’s fifth overall pick and puts the Leafs back in the spot where they might choose the safe pick over shooting for high end talent.

I can’t help but think the Leafs have the opportunity to land a top ten high end talent while still getting a safe role player with a late round pick. That option is Curtis Lazar, centre for the Edmonton Oil Kings, who was at one point considered a possibility to go top five in the draft but has bounced down to the lower picks of the first round and now back towards the middle again.

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It’s that time of year again. With the 2013 NHL Draft just over a month away, let’s start looking toward the next crop of exciting young stars. Barring any trades, the Maple Leafs are poised to select 21st overall after a successful season and noisy, albeit shortened, playoff run. To achieve any form of sustained success in today’s NHL, organizations absolutely have to capitalize on their late first round selections in order to create a constant stream of affordable, quality talent to the big league team. With their strong depth across all levels of the farm system, the Maple Leafs can afford to go any which way with this selection. Let’s start with shutdown centre Bo Horvat.