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2013 Entry Draft

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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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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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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.