The Leafs Nation big board

Far from it on us to mock up a 60-deep list of potential draftees, but I’m thinking that there’s enough information available to us on the top guys to make a solid list for who would be available at pick number five.

Depending on whether you want a forward or a defenceman, below I’ve merged our own Leafs Nation consensus rankings with my own observation in an attempt to give us a general picture of who will go where.

Some caveats here: I base my opinion on prospects the same way as I’d base my opinion on an NHLer. I prefer two-way forwards, and I prefer two-way forwards who can play tough minutes. Given the lack of statistical information about certain players, you really do have to rely on scouts.

The other thing is that I haven’t seen every player on this list live, unfortunately, so there’s a bit of guesswork going on. That said, each player brings something different to the table.

  • Of the 13 players who have yet to play an NHL game selected in the first round between 2005 and 2007, 7 of them were defencemen.
  • That said, of the 36 regular NHLers taken in the first round between 2008 and 2010, 17 of them are defencemen. 31 first round d-men were taken, and all six taken with a top five pick: Drew Doughty, Zach Bogosian, Erik Gudbranson, Alex Pietrangelo, and Luke Schenn, are all regulars.
  • All 15 top five picks in those three years made it, save for Ryan Johansen and Nino Neiderreiter, and while they have all played NHL games, they aren’t yet “regulars”.

I think after looking at those six years, I’m a little warmer to the idea of a defenceman, particularly one who comes highly-rated. I’m not sure the Leafs should really look for somebody to step right from the draft to the NHL roster. It would be a nice bonus, but you hate to want to bank on that going forward.

The Leafs Nation Big Board:


Nail Yakupov
Alex Galchenyuk
Filip Forsberg
Teuvo Teräväinen
Radek Faksa
Mikhail Grigorenko


Ryan Murray
Griffin Reinhart
Matt Dumba
Cody Ceci
Jacob Trouba

As you get to the 35th pick or the later rounds, you start not needing to worry about preceding players. Some guys are scouted out of different places, so we’ll concentrate on the fifth overall pick right now.

To borrow a line from Moneyball in regards to Grigorenko: “put a milo on him.”

Here is how the mock drafts have shaken out:

SB Nation:

#1 Edmonton – Nail Yakupov
#2 Columbus – Filip Forsberg
#3 Montreal – Mikhail Grigorenko
#4 NY Islanders – Alex Galchenyuk
#5 Toronto – Ryan Murray 

Yahoo! Sports:

#1 Edmonton – Nail Yakupov
#2 Columbus – Filip Forsberg
#3 Montreal – Mikhail Grigorenko
#4 NY Islanders – Alex Galchenyuk
#5 Toronto – Ryan Murray


#1 Edmonton – Nail Yakupov
#2 Columbus – Ryan Murray
#3 Montreal – Alex Galchenyuk
#4 NY Islanders – Griffin Reinhart
#5 Toronto – Filip Forsberg

Sportsnet Patrick King (Sam Cosentino):

#1 Edmonton – Ryan Murray (Nail Yakupov)
#2 Columbus – Nail Yakupov (Ryan Murray)
#3 Montreal – Filip Forsberg (Alex Galchenyuk)
#4 NY Islanders – Matt Dumba (Filip Forsberg)
#5 Toronto – Alex Galchenyuk (Mikhail Grigorenko)

In five drafts, the Leafs have taken Murray twice, Forsberg, Galchenyuk and Grigorenko. Unfortunately, I have yet to see a scenario wherein Yakupov is passed on by all top four teams and somehow makes it to Toronto, but we’ll see.

I think the theme from this draft ought to be “don’t screw up”.

The Leafs Nation will be represented at the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh this weekend. Follow our coverage at this blog, or Nations writers Kent Wilson, Thomas Drance or myself on Twitter for the lastest.