It feels great to see the Toronto Maple Leafs add nine fresh new (and young) faces to the organization following a successful 2011 NHL Entry draft this weekend.Â The Leafs led by Dave Morrison selected four forwards, four defenseman and one goaltender. On the second day of the draft the Leafs’ draft team appeared to be anticipating that strong finishes to the seasons from LW Josh Leivo and D Tom Nilsson, their third and fourth round selections respectively, will lead to even brighter futures with breakout seasons in 2011-12.
Even Minnesota high school standout Tony Cameranesi, who was selected in the fifth round, gives something that Leafs fans can look forward to – blazing speed.Â Though diminutive at 5â€™9â€ and 162 pounds, many scouts have lauded the youngster as one of the top skaters in the entire draft, something you donâ€™t normally hear for such a late pick.Â As their NHL future is almost always in a scoring role, it takes a ton of ability in the skill areas of a diminutive man’s game to make it to the top level… elite speed is certainly chief among those skills. This seemed to be the Leafs brass’ high risk, high reward player of the draft; whether or not this swing for the fences approach was taken enough is up for debate
All in all, Brian Burke and company have to be feeling good about a s solid if unspectacular weekend.Â We added a power play quarterback in John-Michael Liles at the cost of a pick the Leafs got as a bonus to an already good return on the Kaberle deal, another experienced sounding board in a deep front office in Rick Dudley and got a guy many had ranked higher in the first round when the team selected bruising power-forward Tyler Biggs.
On to July 1 and the seemingly never ending Brad Richards sweepstakes.
Just a few links: