Mark Hunter gives thoughts on some of the new Leafs picks

Mark Hunter, who is the Director of Player Personnel for the Toronto Maple Leafs, spoke to the media today about the players that his team acquired in rounds 2 through 7. We have the video of the scrum after the jump, along with a few of the answers that were player specific in text form.

Yegor Korshkov

“I’ve seen him in the world juniors, I’m sure you’ve seen him too, he’s a big strong guy. Good Skills. [Lokomotiv Assistant Coach] Evgeny Namestnikov, who scouts for the Leafs he coached him all year. He’s the one who pushed Soshnikov. To me, it was a no-brainer, but we’ll see. He’s gotta get better, of course, get stronger, but we think he’s got a good upside.”

“He’s going to play in the KHL. He played in the KHL this year, there are no issues there. We’ll let him develop. It’s a good league, so it’s just a matter of when he’s ready. Hopefully, when he comes over here he’s ready to step in our lineup. “

Carl Grundstrom

“To me, he’s like a [Brendan] Gallagher. He’s spunky, plays a hard two-way game. He’s tough. One game I went to see him, the first time I got there in Nothern Sweden, first shift he gets kicked out. Hits a guy from behind. I’m like “oh darn, that’s not great, to drive all this way…” anyway, he’s a gritty player, a smart player, I think he’s a Komarov kind of player”

Joseph Woll

“[Goaltending Consultant] Brian Daccord, who has been doing some scouting for us on the goaltending side really loved this goalie, and we really believe he’s on an upward swing. He’s big, 6’3, he’s going to a good program to play in Boston and we like him. We think he’s Athletic, and he’s very strong mentally.”

Adam Brooks

“I like the Brooks boy, we really believe in his skill and his talent, and we just watched what we see, we think he can still develop more, and has still got more upside. In this business of scouting, there are different times where people get better and we think some of these kids are going to get better at a certain time. That’s how we look at it.”

“Brooks, we’ll have to wait and see at our camp, and see how he looks, how he feels, and hopefully, he gets a little bit stronger. He’s somebody we’ll give an opportunity to play, but if it’s better for his development to go back to the Western Hockey League, we’ll do what’s best for him.”

“He brought it every night. He’s a very competitive player. Very intelligent. He’s somebody who willed his team into winning hockey games. Their team went to seven games against red deer and he was one of the main reasons. They had a younger team, and he was one of the older guys that led the way.”

Keaton Middleton

“He defends very well, he’s a big strong kid, one of the tougher kids in the draft. He’s got to make quicker puck decisions, if he can do that he’s got good upside on his will.”

Jack Walker

“Jack Walker is very fast and can shoot. We really believe his speed is exceptional and he was playing D for the other two years before that. For a year and a half now, he’s been at forward so we really believe there’s more upswing with his offensive ability.”

Nicolas Mattinen

“He got hidden in the Memorial Cup behind a good team. Knew him, drafted him, so I feel good about this upside. He’s a big strong kid who needs a little bit of time of course, and he’ll get ice time next year to show how good he is.”

Nikolai Chebykin

“He’s a big strong kid, our scouts liked him, our European Guys and Tommy wanted him so we stepped up and took him. He’s at KHL camp right now, so it’s a young man we think has good upside.”d

  • Gary Empey

    I love how all our draft picks have upsides unlike the previous drafting management who drafted mainly for downside. The more I look at and research this draft, the more clear it becomes that Hunter did not make a single bad move.

    I’m glad we have management that is using analytics to avoid these truculent players like Broll, Devane etc with no upside.

    • Gary Empey

      Good assessment. Whenever I hear “needs to improve his skating”, a red flag goes up. Some do, most don’t. None of our picks come with that label.

      Hunter does mention Keaton Middleton ” needs to make quicker puck decisions”. For me this is an often overlooked skill. In the lower leagues player can often get the puck and have a nice look around to see what to do with it.

      At the NHL level you have a split second before a couple of hyenas are right in your grill………………

      Unless you are playing the Oilers. Then you should be OK to check your text messages before having to pass the puck

    • jimithy

      Not that you’re wrong, Timmons has done a fantastic job in Montreal, but I don’t think you’ll still wish this soon. Hunter has a hell of a track record in junior, and the only reason he doesn’t have a track record in the NHL is because he held out to get this job in the right situation. Turned down a few teams before, including us around the time Burke took over. A few years from now he’ll have drafts we can point to like Timmons picking up McDonagh, Subban, and Pacioretty in one draft, and we’ll all think of him that way.

  • Gary Empey

    What useful information can anyone draw from the standard “He’s a big, strong kid, who has to get better”? If a junior is a “small, weak kid, who can’t skate” no pro scout is interested. Can’t the commentary be a little more articulate?

    • Gary Empey

      Re- “Can’t the commentary be a little more articulate?”

      As it stands now, half the commenters will have to do a google search on the word articulate.

      This bogs everything down. Surely you can’t be asking people to stop and think before they post a comment?

      Plus how can folks be articulate when there is censorship of the most common words used in the English language?

      And what about the Roundup? Already the other Nation sites think we are a bunch of sniveling snobs.

      If by commentary you meant the writer of “articles” then ya, those guys can pull their sock up.

    • Gary Empey

      The one with the flat nose is Hunter.

      The one with the evil eye is Lamoriello.

      The one with the white hair is indeed Fletcher who brought us Glimour.

      That woman in the white sweater up in the stands is my Ex. That’s her new boyfriend sitting beside her holding his hands over his face in despair.

  • jimithy

    A lot of people are disappointed we didn’t get DeBrincat. Although we missed out on a good forward, the Leafs management obviously sees something better in Korshkov!