Wrapping Up The Leafs’ First Round

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

Missed out on all the of the first round action? Don’t worry! Here’s all the quick and dirty details from Day 1.

Leafs Land Mitch Marner

This seemed like destiny, despite all of our chit-chat about other prospects and potential trade-down scenarios involving the 4th overall pick. In the end, Toronto would sit tight and draft the highly-skilled Mitch Marner, a player that both Mark Hunter and amateur scout Lindsay Hofford were intimately familiar with.

For a more in-depth look at the newest Leaf, here’s our post-pick profile on Marner.

We Have A Trade To Announce…

Early in the evening, it was mentioned by many that Toronto may be up to something with their 24th overall pick, previously acquired from the Nashville Predators in the Cody Franson/Mike Santorelli trade deadline deal. It wasn’t much of a surprise then, when the Leafs and Flyers struck a deal that would see Toronto move down the draft order and acquire an additional pick.

For the 24th pick, the Leafs moved down five spots to the 29th spot while also adding the 61st pick, the final selection in the second round. Considering how many high-end prospects were surprisingly still available, it was a deal that made perfect sense for a team lacking a second round pick.

Philadelphia would select the Ottawa 67’s Travis Konecny after moving up, which will surely rub a few Leafs fans the wrong way. An offensively gifted forward with a non-stop motor, Konecny was widely regarded as a mid-first round talent; it was quite a shock to see him still sitting there for Toronto’s taking. In reality though, Konecny was far from the only high-upside player to slip, and the Leafs looked to take advantage of that and pick up some additional assets.

Wait… Again?

Taking a page out of the New England Patriot’s Draft Playbook, the Leafs would move down once again when they found a dance partner in the Blue Jackets. Trading the 29th overall pick to Columbus, Toronto received the 34th and 68th overall picks.

Let’s put this into (amazing) perspective – the Leafs turned a 24th overall selection into an early second round pick, a late second round pick, and an early third round pick. That is some fancy footwork from Kyle Dubas and Mark Hunter in their first ever NHL drafts. 

Looking Forward To Day Two

With those newly acquired picks, Toronto will have a nine selections in the remaining six rounds. Perhaps an even more impressive way of looking at it, they’ll have six picks in the next three rounds. 

There will probably be three things that I look for tomorrow, and that’s adding another high-end prospect, adding a young goaltender to the pipeline via the draft, and a trade or two (to keep things interesting). 

That high-end prospect shouldn’t be hard, with a bunch of nice players still readily available. And the goaltender shouldn’t be hard either; with so many mid-round picks now, it won’t be asking too much to prioritize drafting a netminder without reaching dramatically. I feel strongly that a goaltending pipeline needs at least one goalie in different stages of development, and with Garret Sparks, Antoine Bibeau and Chris Gibson all battling for one AHL job, the pipeline certainly seems a little top heavy. Adding a junior-aged goalie would certainly help things out, and Toronto’s in a good position to accomplish that.

As for the trades, that will be a little more difficult. It looks a little less likely that either Phil Kessel or Dion Phaneuf will be dealt now that there are no more 2015 1st round picks to play with, and it isn’t likely any team will turn around and trade a player they just drafted the day before. Still, if you’re looking at somewhat smaller deals, like ones for Joffrey Lupul or Tyler Bozak, you may still be in luck.

Be sure to come back tomorrow for continuing coverage of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

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  • FlareKnight

    A busy first round. Got the first pick which was a pretty outstanding one. Can easily argue they got the 3rd best prospect in the draft and considering the first two guys….that’s pretty good.

    And they’ve at least set themselves up to make a lot of throws at the dart board. This will be the big test for Hunter and company to be sure. They’ve given him a lot of picks to work with.