It's an exciting time to be a Toronto Maple Leafs fan this time of year. The Leafs may be in a similar predicament this season after dealing away their first-round choice in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. However, until the team actually trades it, let's presume it'll be used to choose a prospect. Who is that prospect going to be? Let's take a look at some of the top candidates.
The most obvious name coming to mind when thinking about who the Toronto Maple Leafs will select with their first-round pick is Quinn Hughes. The Vancouver Giants defenceman would be an excellent fit for what the Leafs need on their blueline. He has great speed and is strong along the boards while also being effective at clearing the puck out of his zone.
Another possibility could be Brady Tkachuk. The younger brother of Ottawa Senators forward Erik Tkachuk would be an ideal addition for the Maple Leafs. He has good size at 6'3" and over 200 pounds and plays a physical game. If he drops down a couple of spots into the first round, there's a chance he might fall all the way to 19th overall by which point the Leafs might want to consider taking him anyway.
Yet another potential selection for the Maple Leafs is Travis Konecny. The centre from the Philadelphia Flyers would be an excellent addition to the team's roster. He has good hands and is responsible in his own end while contributing offensively too.
Two first-round choices in the same year. With the 2020 NHL draft starting tomorrow, we're going to take a look at the Toronto Maple Leafs' draft history in the top half of the first round this morning. The Maple Leafs have had two first-round picks every year since they entered the league in 1917. They've used those picks on players from all over the world - including Canada - to fill out their roster with some of the best talent available.
The last time the Maple Leafs missed the playoffs was in 2014-15. Since then, they've been to the postseason each season, and they've won the Atlantic Division twice. This past season was their most successful in a long time; they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in forever. Tomorrow will be a big day for the franchise as they begin the process of building back up after another disappointing season ended prematurely due to injury.
Here's how the Toronto Maple Leafs have done in the first round of the NHL draft:
2017: First overall pick Pierre-Olivier Joseph signs with Montreal Canadiens as a free agent.
2016: First overall pick Alexander Romanov signs with Vancouver Canucks as an unrestricted free agent.
2015: First overall pick Mikhail Sergachev signs with the Detroit Red Wings as a defenceman.
The lottery has assigned the first three choices since 2016. Toronto has participated in every NHL draft, with Walt McKechnie being selected sixth overall in the 1963 NHL Amateur Draft. .. Picks in the Draft
The Maple Leafs acquired forward Ryan Hollweg in a deal with the New York Rangers on July 14 in exchange for a fifth-round draft selection in 2009. The Maple Leafs were predicted to have a disappointing season due to their inexperienced roster. This proved to be right, as they were knocked out of the playoff race early and showed no evidence of rebound. On March 4, 2009, the Maple Leafs fired head coach Paul Maurice and replaced him with John Ferguson Jr.
Hollweg was drafted by the Rangers in the second round (44th overall) in 2008. He played four seasons with the University of Minnesota Duluth, scoring 39 goals and adding 42 assists for 81 points in 122 games. The Maple Leafs were hoping that having a player with some experience at the NHL level would help them win some games this season.
The Leafs would have to lose their series against the Columbus Blue Jackets in order to win the first overall pick. So, if the Leafs lose their first-round series against Columbus, they have a one-in-eight chance of picking first overall. If they win their series, then they have a one-in-four chance of picking first.
Overall, these are very low odds. However, if the Leafs do well in these playoffs and are able to go far, they could see their draft position rise up the board. A lot can happen in a single round of the NHL Draft. For example, if the Leafs were to win the first round over the Blue Jackets, they might not be done there; they could potentially meet again in the second round.
The winner of the Colorado/San Jose series will face off against the Los Angeles Kings in the next round. This is an all California series so it should be pretty good. These are the lowest seeded teams left in the playoffs so we will see how far they can go.
AnalySIS of Traded Away The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Stefan Noesen from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a first-round selection in 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2022. (see below).
Rodion Amirov was selected in the 15th round of the 2020 draft from the entry pool.
According to Kristen Shilton, the Toronto Maple Leafs picked Russian Rodion Amirov with the 15th overall choice in the 2020 NHL Draft, reflecting the team's tendency for smaller, speedier offensive players with strong playmaking abilities. The choice also means that the Leafs did not trade the pick, which is considered one of the best in the draft.
Amirov has been praised for his great shot and ability to score goals from very difficult positions. He also has good hockey sense and is a solid two-way player who contributes on the power play and penalty kill. Amirov will likely start his career in the KHL but could be eligible to play for Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championship if he remains with the team then.
The Maple Leafs had only four picks in this year's draft after trading away their second-round choice (57th overall) to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for forward Taylor Hall on June 21, 2019. This is the third time in four years that the Maple Leafs have had only four picks in the draft; they had five choices in 2018 and six in 2017.
It appears that new Toronto general manager Ashle Demerjian is following a similar strategy as his predecessor by trying to build through the draft rather than via free agency.
Toronto has participated in every NHL draft, with Walt McKechnie being selected sixth overall in the 1963 NHL Amateur Draft. Toronto was the top overall pick twice, in 1985 and 2016. The other times they have been picked second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in 1964, 1967, 1968, and 1969.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are a professional ice hockey team based in Toronto, Ontario. They are members of the East Division of the Atlantic Division of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team is owned by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), which also operates the Air Canada Centre arena where the team plays most of its home games. The Leafs have won the Stanley Cup three times - 1948, 1949, and 1951 - and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP once - 1948-49.
Originally called the Toronto Maple Leafs, they were one of six teams that made up the original NHL franchise roster for each club. The others were Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, and Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs played their first game on October 4,1917, losing 3-2 to Boston at Madison Square Garden. Toronto lost their first two games by a combined score of 12-0, but came back to win their next four games to finish with a record of 5-4-1.