Report: Leafs to work out Hanifin today ahead of draft

We’re going to be dropping by with quick hits of news all day leading up to tonight’s draft to keep you (and ourselves) up to speed, and why not get things starting with what sounds like important info regarding the fourth overall pick?

It’s been speculated for a while now that the Coyotes are truly locked in on Dylan Strome at third, and if they decide to hold on to that pick (which is actually far from a certainty), the Leafs will make a huge decision between Marner and Hanifin.

Does this report from Strickland indicate their leaning toward the NCAA product? Read into it however you want.

Circling back to the Coyotes’ pick, if Don Maloney decides to make a deal there, it could take Hanifin out of the equation entirely for the Leafs. As Bob McKenzie noted this morning, most teams targeting Arizona’s selection are doing so with Hanifin in mind. 

That would certainly make it an easy decision for the Leafs to bring Marner on board, so basically they’re at the mercy of the Coyotes or one of the billion teams they might trade their pick to. This is going to be a wild day.

  • Brooksterman

    IMO, they should go with Marner, defensemen are harder to predict when compared to forward, so there is more of a risk with Hanifin, we can still get a great Defensemen with out second pick

    • silentbob

      If the Coyotes or someone else take Hanifin 3rd, Strome is who he Leafs should go for at 4th. Big, skilled, elite centerman – everything the Leafs have been needing the last 5+ years.

      If Marner was a more skilled player it’d change things, but it doesn’t appear that way. They seem to be about equal in the skill/talent department.

      • silentbob

        Marner has been called the better offensive player, the better defensive player and a far better skater than Strome. I also wouldn’t call Strome an elite centerman, very skilled and rather large yes, but elite no

        • silentbob

          The skating thing is way over blown, Strome is not a bad skater by any measure, and in the “fancy stats” article comparing the two one of the comments pointed out how Strome is superior to Marner in a lot of catagories.

  • STAN

    Hunter loves Marner, not just for his skill and hockey sense (and he is overloaded with both), but for his disposition. He is said to be a great guy and exceptional teammate.

    So my money’s on Marner.

    Still, if Shanahan is to make his mark as a Leafs leader who is not JFJ or Fletcher or Burke or Nonis, he can get another top 5 pick through a blockbuster trade and perhaps snag Hanafin or Povorov.

    Now THAT would get the rebuild kickstarted.

  • silentbob

    Do we really need the big centre anymore? It would have been ideal before, but does having Nylander and Kadri not make it a bad idea to stock up on more centres?