With the Penguins taking down the Cup yesterday evening, the Leafs’ picks for this month’s draft have finally been locked in. And with that, we can do more to look at how they might turn out.
One of the easiest things to do is simply look back and see how those selections have turned out over the last number of years. We’ve dug into some more in-depth things like pick valuations and specific prospects who might fall within the team’s grasp over the last few weeks, but this is more so just a fun exercise to get an idea of how picks have turned out at these points in the draft, and perhaps have a little laugh (or cry) at some big whiffs.
For the purpose of keeping this short and reasonable, the Leafs’ first three picks in the draft – 1st, 30th, and 31st overall – will be covered.
I actually laughed out loud compiling this list. Obviously it’s littered with franchise players and guys who will surely be Hall of Fame bound when they call it quits. It’s first overall!
But there are a few (relative) busts, notably Patrik Stefan and, to an extent, Yakupov and Johnson. DiPietro falls into that bust category too, but considering injuries wrecked his career I don’t want to be too hard on him. Also, taking a goalie with the top pick is absolutely insane, and thankfully we don’t have to worry about it. Toronto will take Matthews and win the draft on Friday night.
It’s nearly impossible for the Leafs to get first overall wrong, but 30th is obviously a different story, or at least it has been historically.
It looks thin, but this is a stark reminder that in the first round you’re really not guaranteed anything after the first few picks. In fact you’re more likely to miss.
Then again, at a quick glance it seems in recent years teams have fared better here. Let’s hope that continues for Hunter and co.
Yeah, this is atrocious. I feel like 31st overall must be some anomaly or prospect black hole, because this whole group has turned out 95 combined NHL points. Keeping in mind THE LIST GOES BACK TO NINETEEN-NINETY-SEVEN.
Good lord. Trade this pick to the Habs, or just skip it altogether. Save yourself the embarrassment and wasted time. [I’m joking…I think.]
In all seriousness, we know that once these picks are made they become prospects, and then these numbers really don’t mean anything. But these lists are worth looking at just to show how difficult it is to hit a homerun in what most of us would still consider early in the draft at 30 and 31. It also helps build the case for trading away from these selections and perhaps moving down (or packaging to go way up), as we get into magic bean territory.