Free Agents Don’t Make Draft Picks Expendable


    There’s the notion that signing Christian Hanson and Tyler Bozak and other College Free Agents allows the Buds to trade off other picks, perhaps even to move up in the draft.

    The justification is having signed these free agent Collegians fills roster spots allowing them to maneuver around the draft, possibly even moving up to land a Hedman or Tavares at the number one or two spot.

    (My take is forgetting either of them and draft Brampton Battalion forward, Matt Duchene, but that’s a blog for another day.)

    I really hope that’s not the case, trading away draft picks just to land a bigger fish. This rebuild/retool is not JUST about drafting; development is key. And the more options to develop, the better. Drafting becomes a moot point otherwise and trading away picks for one player, regardless of the hype surrounding him, does not make logistical sense.

    Add the element of competition amongst prospects for roster spots, testing their desire/ability and in effect challenging and elevating their play, and suddenly, there are legitimate NHL players coming through the system.

    Toronto’s system isn’t completely devoid, but the franchise won’t be turned around by some shrewd maneuvering come draft time. It’s a must for abundance in the prospect cupboard.

    Having said that, if Brian Burke was to explore moving up in the draft, it could possibly work it’s way through a scenario like this:

    (I really wish I could take credit for this, but alas I can’t. Built from a conversation with a friend, an Ottawa fan no less …. Courtesy of Maynard … Have fun…)

    First call on draft day:

    Snow: Hello?
    Burke: Snowy, interested in my first, second, third, and fourth picks?
    Snow: For what?
    Burke: Since he doesn’t want to play on the Island, your first.
    Snow: We can still take the Swedish kid at #1
    Burke: *^&^$%*

    Second call on draft day:

    Lawton: Hello?
    Burke: You were a first overall pick right?
    Lawton: Don’t remind me
    Burke: Sure fire star right?
    Lawton: Who is this again?.
    Burke: That Stamkos kid sure had a rough ride this season didn’t he? Filatov or Doughty would sure look good on your team.
    Lawton: Yeah, there’s no such thing as a surefire top pick.
    Burke: Really? Then are you interested in my first first, second, third and fourth picks?
    Lawton: For what?
    Burke: For saving you the humiliation of drafting a dud with the high pick.
    Lawton: Ooohh. Good point. Deal!

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