Draft Weekend: Who we takin’?

2101
NHL Draft
2013 NHL Draft

Bob McKenzie polled a bunch of NHL scouts about the top prospects of the draft class and tweeted the results. The following couple of tweets piqued my interest, as they mentioned a few prospects who are likely to figure into the Leafs range:

 

 

It seems likely, given his upside, there will be a team that likes Anthony Mantha enough to take him before 21.  There is a shot he’ll be there when the Leafs draft (if they stay at 21). He’s not a center, but the Leafs could really use the infusion of a high-ceiling scoring talent into the system, be it a center or winger. In the same vein, LW Kerby Rychel plays a bit of a power forward’s game and owns a big shot. He should be on the board at 21 and has back-to-back 40 goal seasons to his name, keeping concerns about his skating and preferential treatment in Windsor in mind. Valentin Zykov is another pure scoring winger (40 in 67 games in the Q this season) with decent size and better wheels than Rychel. All of these options, all 40+ goal scorers this past season, involve a gamble, but the Leafs seem well stocked with depth forwards in the pipeline and the only way they can score big in the late 1st is by taking a chance. You can throw Morgan Klimchuk’s name into the mix, too. This all barring a trade up, of course…

I do like big centermen, but – granted, based mostly on his numbers – I’m not ecstatic about Fred Gauthier’s upside and think the pick would err on the safe side. It could be true that Morrison and his team prefer to lean on the surer bets later on in the first, based on their picks of Percy and Biggs in 2011. We’ll have to see how it plays out.

 

Morning Links..

Some Saturday morning draft profile reading…

Teams are piling up with interest in Lecavalier
If the rumours are true about Vinny preferring to stay south (and avoid Canada and its taxes), SJ could be the spot. The Leafs are in a position to pretty much hand him the 1C role though (next to some fine wing talent to boot), which wouldn’t be the case with the Sharks.

Letang to Toronto? Don’t hold your breath
Sage advice. Definitely feels like the Toronto stuff was the product of an agent looking to put the heat on Shero.

What was your favourite Maple Leaf Draft Day?
From Michael at VLM.

Three 2012 Leafs picks invited To Team Canada’s Summer Camp.
Morgan Rielly, Matt Finn and Ryan Rupert.

Dave Nonis’ uneventful media availability from yesterday afternoon
Nice chandelier though.

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]
  • Uncle Otis

    Morin is my guy…just don’t know if he will be around at 21.
    Reminds me of hoping for Oleksiak, and Dallas went off the board to choose him at 14.
    Too many red flags with Rychel,and something tells me one of the smaller,higher ranked players will fall to us.
    Going to be an interesting day.

    • B_Leaf

      Uncle Otis 
      If Morin is there, yes he would be highly probable pick, but he will not be there

      • Knights2Leafs

        B_Leaf Uncle Otis 
        At 21 there is no real BPA and so I think the Leafs should for once concentrate on taking the best center available.

        • B_Leaf

          Knights2Leafs B_Leaf Uncle Otis 
          I dont disagree unless the scouts are really high on someone. Morin could be like that…he does still fit a team need. But yes in this draft the Leafs likely take a centre with size. Nonis said as much.

      • Uncle Otis

        B_Leaf 
        I suspect you are correct.
        Guy has risen dramatically this season,and you cant teach size.
        Would be nice to move up a few spots affordably and grab him.

    • B_Leaf

      Uncle Otis 
      If Morin is there, yes he would be highly probable pick, but he will not be there

  • B_Leaf

    Whatever happens at the draft…I think there will be good players available to us at 21. It is a draft with a lot of quality size players, and lots of quality centers. But the Leafs will pick best available. I think Gauthier could be there at 21, and if so I think he could be taken. If Erne is still there he might be taken as well. 
    Mornin Otis.

    • Dink

      B_Leaf nothings gonna happen..same ole, same ole

  • Knights2Leafs

    Thanks Alec and GM UO.
    Since 21 is a bit of a hit or miss pick, then I want size.  I’m happy to defer to whatever decision Nonis et al makes but I like the sounds of Mantha.  Might take a while but seems like a pure scorer.  Next it would be a toss up between Gauthier and Zykov.  Zykov sounds like he could be the next Kulemin but maybe his offense translates better at the NHL.  While Kimchuk sounds interesting, I’m not sure I want a 5’11” guy unless he has superior skills.  Having said that he might as there are very few of these prospects I get to see.
    Vinny to TO on a 1 year deal at 6M so he can reconsider his options next summer and Kadri and Colborne have one more year of development for us.

    • Zep2

      Knights2Leafs Vinny wont come here.  The only chance a Vinny trade would have happened was knocked on the head by the league. 
      Hes a good player but ten  years of hanging at the beach and golf course leaves him ill-suited for the Fish bowl of any Canadian city

      • Knights2Leafs

        Zep2
        He probably won’t come here but the Leafs are one of the few teams that might be happy to give him a one year contract.  Good for us and potentially good for him. He puts up 82 points with Kessel and JVR/Lupul and can write his own ticket next year as a UFA.

        • Knights2Leafs

          Zep2 
          Plus a year of Canadian winters will help him appreciate the beach life he can look forward to the rest of his life.

      • Dink

        Zep2 Knights2Leafs If he wants to be the man he would go to Montreal or Toronto, if he wants to be wallpaper, he will go elsewhere. (sounds like he just wants to collect his money until he retires…)

      • theacs1966

        Zep2 Knights2Leafs He was bought out and as of yesterday is a UFA.  He can sign anywhere except Tampa for one year.  I have read he wants a long term deal in the 4-5 yr area.

        • Knights2Leafs

          theacs1966
          I have read that he wants a long term deal, but I also read or heard elsewhere that he might look at a one year deal

        • theacs1966

          Knights2Leafs theacs1966 That was the speculation just before he got bought out, everything since then, its been long term.  With 15 teams interested, he’ll get what ever it is he wants.

    • happy_gilmour

      i like mantha as well and would give Vinny 5 X 4 years

  • B_Leaf

    Zep2 
    The problem is the Leafs need the type of D Dion brings, that physical force. They really need to add to that not take it away. Gardiner should have a breakout year that rivals what Letang can do. But Gardiner may prove to be better in his own end.

    • Knights2Leafs

      B_Leaf Zep2 
      3 years ago Letang would be exactly the elite type of Dman we needed.  While Letang > Phaneuf, we have Gards for now and Rielly coming plus Dion is or should be cheaper than Letang.  I’m not sold that Letang is what we need and we sure can’t afford him.  I’d rather give that kind of money to Phil.

    • Zep2

      B_Leaf Zep2 The only argument I have against that is-who was the physical force on the SC champions. Seabrook? Halmrstromm?
      Chicagos top 4 guys could all make a pass under pressure. I like Dion but that is not one of his streengths

      • B_Leaf

        Zep2 B_Leaf 
        I think Boston was a  lot more banged up against Chicago and that factored in…In a first round battle it may have been different. But the Blackhawks D isn’t soft either.

      • Knights2Leafs

        Zep2
        lol – you’re making Dion sound like Komi, our grenade specialist.  Dion isn’t that bad and would look a whole lot better with 3 other quality Dmen around him.

      • Knights2Leafs

        Zep2
        lol – you’re making Dion sound like Komi, our grenade specialist.  Dion isn’t that bad and would look a whole lot better with 3 other quality Dmen around him.

      • Zep2

        Knights2Leafs Zep2  I love Kulie and like Dion. Dion does have trouble hitting a guy on the move with a pass
        I agree with you that having a better D partner would help.

  • B_Leaf

    Zep2 
    The problem is the Leafs need the type of D Dion brings, that physical force. They really need to add to that not take it away. Gardiner should have a breakout year that rivals what Letang can do. But Gardiner may prove to be better in his own end.

  • WendelGilmour

    Thanks, Alec. Interesting I have only seen Zykov’s name mentioned in the past two days. 
    I would also be good with the Leafs taking a chance on an offensive guy rather than a safe pick.

  • Zep2

    Morin or Mantha at 21 for me

    • Optimustic

      Zep2 Morin looks like the only pick that I’d like, though I trust the scouts and management to know more than I do.  I’d also be willing to trade down if the price is  right.

  • Dink

    You just knew the Jays would go on the schnide now…and they got Reyes back too…sheesh

    • Zep2

      @Dink They are certainly coughing up a fur ball this week.

  • Dink

    Only thing more boring this weekend will be watching Free Agent Frenzy next week

  • B_Leaf

    I have mentioned this before in other years so I apologize for the repetition. But over the years I have really come to respect Redline Report as the best talent searcher in their draft analysis. If they like a player, they don’t care where everybody else ranks them, they will jump a guy a hundred spots if they like him. They have proven to be right time and again. They seem to understand how a players game translates to the NHL style. Over the years watching some junior you just notice certain players that have an NHL look to their game. It’s the compete level, the skating, and most of all a hockey IQ.
    Anyway, one of the guys in this draft that they have ranked very high is LW Adam Erne. He is 6’0 210, and can skate, and has skill. Many have Erne late first round or even outside of it. Redline Report has him ranked tenth overall. If this guy slides to the Leafs this would be a very solid pick.

    • Dink

      B_Leaf If the Leafs are able to get another pick higher than 21 (2 picks in top 30) I think they would land the Domi kid, if they just have the 1 pick, I have no idea and I almost think it should be traded for a roster player.

    • Optimustic

      B_Leaf I see the Redline Report has us drafting Laurent Dauphin in the first round.  He could be a good pick for our prospects at centre.  Here’s a bit about him. http://www.inlouwetrust.com/2013/6/14/4425072/laurent-dauphin-2013-nhl-draft-prospect-profile

      • daniel marois

        Optimustic B_Leaf 
        He looks like he is most likely to go high second round.  But I can see a team drafting 25-30 taking him.

        • B_Leaf

          daniel marois Optimustic B_Leaf 
          Thats where a lot ofpeople have him. When RLR goes off the board, they are often right.

        • Optimustic

          daniel marois Optimustic B_Leaf That’s what Redline Report said, but they think the Leafs may go off the board for him.  Burke always surprised me with his picks, so I gave up trying to predict who we’d be getting.

        • daniel marois

          Optimustic daniel marois B_Leaf 
          It’s possible.  Dauphin would be a swing for the fences pick – and by that I would not be disappointed if they chose him.

        • Optimustic

          daniel marois Optimustic B_Leaf I won’t be disappointed until I see how he progresses or doesn’t progress.  We need more centres in our system so it might be a good prospect to develop.

        • daniel marois

          Optimustic daniel marois B_Leaf 
          For sure. As a centre, probably more offensive upside than Gauthier.

      • daniel marois

        Optimustic B_Leaf 
        He looks like he is most likely to go high second round.  But I can see a team drafting 25-30 taking him.