WWYDW: Would you have offered Columbus the fourth pick?

As discovered by PPP a couple days back, it looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs made a pretty serious offer to the Columbus Blue Jackets that involved the fourth overall pick in the 2015 Draft. 

In the ‘2015 CBJ Draft Table’ video released by Jackets TV, Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen mulled over an offer from the Leafs that would see the fourth overall pick swapped for the eighth, 34th, 38th and 58th. 

While Kekalainen played it cool on the phone with an unnamed member of the Leafs’ front office, he told his draft table that, if Arizona passed on Hanifin with the third pick, Toronto want “all of [our] seconds” in exchange for dropping down four spots in the order. That is a huge, huge price for Columbus to pay, making it all the more surprising when Kekalainen told his table he’d probably take the deal if he wasn’t so sure he’d get Zach Werenski at eight.

As we know, Kekalainen turned down Toronto’s offer. Mitch Marner became a Maple Leaf with the fourth overall pick, while the Blue Jackets got Werenski as expected.

Basically, this almost happened. But it didn’t. Is that a good thing?

Personally, I like the idea of trading down from the 24th overall pick (which did happen) and keep the high pick and grab an elite prospect (which also happened) as opposed to getting too cute in the top 10. I like what the Leafs ended up doing, even if they were trying to do something else. 

What about you? Would you trade the 4th for the 8th, 34th, 38th and 58th? Mighty tempting, but there are good arguments to be made on both sides.

Leave your answers in the comments below. Most thumbs up and you get the love and admiration of the internet… Least thumbs up and your computer will literally explode.

  • Synsensa

    I think I would have. Our drafting this year was excellent. Marner has the potential of being a cornerstone of the franchise but 4 wisely selected draft picks could have a higher return down the road. Being saturated with too many good players is a great problem to have, especially if each one pans out well enough to be worth a pick + prospect or maybe even two picks after some development.

  • Synsensa

    I personally wouldn’t have. I believe that Marner has the highest upside of anyone in this draft (outside of the generational talents that are McDavid and Eichel). He’s a quality player that can potentially be a franchise cornerstone.

    Also, Toronto ended up getting the 34th pick anyways with Dermott. The return would have been really cool and yeah the quantity of prospects coming in would be something worth getting excited about but I think in this draft, quality was so important because of how deep it was!

  • Synsensa

    I think marner is worthy of being picked 1st overall in a weaker draft. His point per game rate is better than Hall, Seguin and other stars in the nhl. There is a huge difference between marner and a player that would be picked 8th, the package of 2nd round picks dont make up for it in my opinion.

  • Synsensa

    I like the idea. But I would take it further and to the extreme by trading down till the leafs owned every 7th, 6th and 5th round pick and maybe a few 4ths.

  • Benjamin

    I wouldn’t have liked the deal, though I can see the argument for it. That said, if you compare it to what the Leafs actually did it’s pretty clear they dodged a bullet.

    4th, 61st, 68th vs 8th, 38th, 58th?

    Historically, there’s a huge drop in quality from 4th to 8th overall, while the difference between 2nd and 3rd rounders isn’t much.

    Looks like Dubas was a little too eager to try out his new drafting model, glad they were forced to wheel with the 24th overall instead.

    • FlareKnight

      That’s not accurate. You have to look at the whole picture and you actually forgot about the 34th pick. It’s like this:

      4th, 34th, 61st, 68th vs 8th, 24th, 34th, 38th and 58th

      This is all assuming the Leafs wouldn’t trade down with any of the picks they would have acquired, which is fairly unlikely. If the Leafs followed through with their trade down strategy with pick 24 (in the context that they made the “4th for 8th and picks” trade), they would have had even more picks in the 2nd/3rd round.

      While I’m a big Marner fan and love that the Leafs selected him, the value that would have been garnered (equivalent to the 10th overall pick if you add up the 2nds. Search up Steve Burtch’s relative trade value chart to see what I’m talking about) through this deal would have made this trade very much worth it.

  • Gary Empey

    The tricky bit here is- Who would of Toronto chosen if they picked #8? They certainly surprised us with most of their picks on draft day. Zach Werenski went 8th overall. Would we have chose him or did they have their eye on someone else? There certainly were some highly rated prospects still on the board at that spot.

  • Gary Empey

    One thing that seems to be overlooked is that the deal was only on the table if hanifin and strome was still available at four…meaning Az picked Marner. Not so sexy sounding if you remove Marner from the choice, right?

  • giproc

    The play I hoped for was trading core for an additional top 10 pick. Since that wasn’t available, I’m glad they kept #4.

    Depth can be bought. For years, the Leafs Achilles heel has been the lack of elite top line and top D pair players who could match up with the best of the competing teams. At this stage I don’t see any forwards at 8 that could match the top 4 taken.

    However, if the Leafs’ were convinced that they needed to grab an elite dman with their first pick, a deal to move down to grab a Provorov or Werenski instead of Hanifin would have made sense.

  • silentbob


    Quality is always more important then quanity. Would you have Toews or Kadri, Bozak and Grabovski?

    If you really believe the player you are picking at 8 is = to the player you’re picking at 4, then do it. But if the player you can get at 4 is better (and we all seemed to be of that opinion when the pick happened), then no, you take your best chance at a real impact player rather then giving it up for 4 lesser chances at landing the same thing.

  • alexsteen

    Pretty great offer, but I like what they did better. Elite talent always wins.

    For the record, Columbus had Werenski ranked fourth on their list, after McD, Eichel and Hanifin.

  • alexsteen

    Canucks fan looking in from the outside:

    If Hunter was on-board with trading the pick, then I say trade it. Marner is a known quantity to him, so if he felt the value was in trading down a few slots, then make the trade, pick a still solid top ten player, and proceed to clean up in a strong 2nd round to stock the cupboards.

    On the flipside, the mantra of “whoever walks away with the best player wins the trade” could hold true if Marner translates his game to the elite level.

    Probably as close to a “push” as you can get looking at it right now, but it’ll be fun looking at this with the hindsight goggles on in a few years.

  • FlareKnight

    I believe my answer to that question is….no, no, no, no and NO!

    My god if the Leafs had done this I might have actually lost my mind. The one thing I wanted going into this draft was not to get stupid with the 4th overall pick. They actually tried to get stupid….They were saved by Arizona taking Strome (thank you so much Arizona) and Columbus not jumping on a great offer.

    I don’t care how many second round picks you are getting. The drop out of the top 5 to the bottom end of the top 10 in a draft this good is serious. Would I take Zach Werenski over Marner? Nope. I don’t think it’s worth it. There is getting more picks because you trust Hunter and there is sabotaging yourself.

    Thank god this didn’t happen.