According to Darcy Regier, "The NHL Amateur Draft produces, on average, 54 players [who play at least 80 NHL games in their career] a year -- 1.8 per team -- I think."
Think about that. Only 54 players per draft play at least 80 NHL games. That means Mike Zigomanis qualifies as one of those "NHLers."
The draft is a time for many things: hope, optimism, change, but perhaps most importantly (and foolishly) it is a time for false belief. Fans, especially fans of teams who are struggling, look at the draft and expect so much from it. The truth is though, if you draft one really good NHL player, you've done well. If you draft two solid NHLers, you've done above average. Three? Well, that's basically a special draft all things considered.
So if you're apart of the Leafs organization and waking up this week, you have to feel pretty good about a draft that netted you two players that you (and many others) ranked as first rounders, especially when one is a guy you ranked first overall (more on that below). [more…]
With their first pick of Day 2, the Maple Leafs quickly snap up one of the top [more…]
Morgan Rielly is a Canadian defenseman who played his junior career for the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League. This 18 year old, 6 ft, 190 lb defenseman was born in West Vancouver and was Moose Jaw's second overall selection in the WHL Bantam Draft.
His honors include a bronze medal in the World U-17 Hockey Challenge and a selection to the 2011 Subway Super Series. Riellyâ€™s season was cut short by a torn ACL as the D-man played only 18 games for the Warriors scoring 18 points during that stretch, including 3 goals. We needed to add some more mobility on the back end and we got it now.
Hello fellow Leaf fans, welcome to the MLHS 2012 NHL Entry Draft Open Thread. According to Twitter, a lot of GMs are talking to each [more…]
We're now mere days away from the ever exciting NHL Entry Draft. One of the names that consistently shows up in that group of the top 3-4 players is 6'2 power forward Filip Forsberg. The 17 year old Swede is touted as the most complete player in the draft, offering a superb package of size, skill, defensive instincts and competitive spirit. It is unlikely that he will still be around by the 5th selection, but stranger things have happened. Any team selecting Forsberg as early as 2nd overall could find themselves with a tremendous bargain in two or three years time.
The Basics: All-around winger/center for Leksand, 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points in 43 games played. [more…]
Even if you whole-heartedly buy into the "take the best player available" theory when it comes to draft strategy, I think the odds are low the Leafs will be drafting a defenceman with their fifth overall draft selection in the 2012 Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. Say you truly believe organizational needs do not shape a draft team's particular assessment of "the best player available." I still can't see Everett's Ryan Murray getting past the Oilers or Islanders. I also don't think the Leafs would pass on the offensive talent available in the top five and draft Matthew Dumba or Morgan Riely. It doesn't make sense from an organizational needs standpoint - not with Jake Gardiner's emergence this season - nor from a best-available-player perspective.
Working with that assumption, a good place to start when it comes to analyzing what the Leafs need most with their fifth overall pick is by taking a look at the young forwards already in the system. [more…]
There are more than a few things Iâ€™ll never understand in life. Why do Americans want sports on TV in the middle of the day on the weekend? Who actually likes DJ banter on the radio? And why is the KHL considered to equal death for prospects?
The first two Iâ€™ve given up on and accepted as an unfortunate part of life, but the fear of the KHL seems like one that can be addressed easily. Simply put, I think the common perception of the prospects leaving for the KHL is wrong. In fact, the NHL should be encouraging some of their young prospects to consider going this route as it will potentially elevate their game.
Being pro-Russian prospect is easier this week with Vladimir Tarasenko returning to the Blues than it was a few weeks ago when Kuznetsov decided to stay in the KHL for another couple of years. Although, in his decision Kuznetsov does hint at the benefits to his development, and if you scan the Capitals roster there does not seem to be any certainty that a 20 year old offensive player will readily crack the lineup. If he continues to excel in Russia it seems that in two years it could be his spot to lose. [more…]
With the discussion and speculation builiding up as draft day nears, one name that just won't go away is Radek Faksa. The Maple Leafs are rumoured to be quite high on the powerful Kitchener Rangers' forward and have scouted his games extensively. Faksa possesses many of the qualities currently lacking in the organization: the ability to play centre, defensive zone acumen, and size. His name will undoubtedly be linked to the Blue and WhiteÂ even at #5 overall.
The Basics: Two-way centreman for the Kitchener Rangers, 29 goals and 38 assists for 67 points in 62 games played [more…]
In this period without any Leafs hockey, Leafs Nation speculates about the draft and summer trades and acquisitions. Once again, yours truly is here to do the former, only this time Iâ€™ll be looking at value beyond the top 10 selection.
At the moment, the Leafs hold the 35th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Itâ€™s possible, plausible even, that our second round pick gets moved in order for us to move up for a shot at that future top line forward. However, given the uncertainty of draft day decisions, especially for the top five, six draft eligible players, I doubt that will be the case.
As the draft continues to draw nearer, the Mikhail Grigorenko story becomes more and more interesting. A player once believed to be a lock for the 2nd or 3rd spot in the draft is beginning to slide down the rankings, and is currently pegged anywhere from 4th to 20th. This opens up a scenario where a supremely talented, albeit inconsistent, 6â€™3 centre is on the board for the Maple Leafs at the fifth selection. What to doâ€¦ What to doâ€¦
The Basics: An elite offensive-minded centre, a high risk/reward type prospect; 40 goals and 45 assits for 85 points in 59 games played for the Quebec Remparts [more…]
With the Toronto Maple Leafs set to select fifth overall at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft on June 22, most Ontarians seem to be impatiently pining for an all-world talent to fall into GM Brian Burkeâ€™s lap.
Speculation will run rampant up until the moment just before Burke steps to the podium, when he caustically taunts a rival GM about his pending selection, ruining the reveal.Â But is there something we should know about Burke that heâ€™s not telling us?
I back-tested the last seven drafts that Burke has participated in - three with Toronto, four with Anaheim - going back to 2005.Â In those seven drafts, Burke selected a total of 52 players.Â Only eight of them, or 15.9 percent, are European-born or European-trained (all others are North American).
After jumping 30 spots in the most recent International Scouting Service report, the 2012 MLHS Draft Profiles turns its watchful eye to Oshawa Generals centerman and Jack-of-all-trades, Scott Laughton.
Thereâ€™s a lot to like about Scott Laughton, who recorded 21 goals, 32 assists and 101 PIM in 64 games, skating mostly on a line with Christian Thomas (40th overall in 2010 by NYR) and Andy Andreoff (80th overall in 2011 by LAK).Â After starting the year slowly, Scott Laughton has developed into a reliable two-way force in the â€˜Shwa.
What Scott Laughton has that should separate him from the pack is will.Â Simply put, the guy works hard each night and was relied upon as a special teams cog over older, more established players on the Generals roster. He initiates contact, and is dogged in his pursuit of the puck.Â And despite a relatively average frame (6-foot-1, 178 pounds), heâ€™s a willing pugilist.Â He might want to rein-in that last element of his game for future success, as his any-situation utility is moot while heâ€™s in the sin bin. [more…]