The NHL Entry Draft and the Toronto Maple Leafs have forged a wonderful relationship as of late. Just the word draft brings a smile to faces. The most recent fond memory, one sure to last, is the privilege to walk to the podium and say the name of Auston Matthews, making him the the first overall pick of 2016. The addition of a highly rated, and talented Center gave the Maple Leafs an opportunity to surround him with other, already selected, high end talent in Mitchell Marner (4th overall in 2015) and William Nylander (8th overall in 2014). Falling into Marner at 4 is something that’s still extremely hard to believe, this is a first overall type. Never mind the fact we got Nylander at 8, yes 8. Delving further you can see the influx of organizational skill and depth thanks to the draft. And let’s not kid ourselves, championships are built through the draft and further achievement is sustained by it. Players come ready these days and can step in much sooner than in the past. Putting even more premium on the choices made. But more than anything it’s about the kids and what this day means for them. Say what you will about this draft being a weak class, that’s when strong drafting and smart decisions can come to the forefront. This is the hope and expectation coming out of Leafs Nation and the team itself in 2017. After the Leafs put on an admirable and somewhat unexpected performance in this years NHL regular season & playoffs, the team will be selecting in the 17th position of the First Round.
We have been incredibly fortunate at Leafs Hub to have made an excellent friend in Draft Guru, Mark Seidel over that last few years. Mark and his team at NACS has once again, allowed us to share their Top 100 picks for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft that will be held in Chicago. As previously mentioned, as Leafs fans we have been on quite the ride and much of our new found success is due in large part to the NHL Entry Draft. Over the past couple seasons the focus has been on the possible additions to the roster via the draft and admittedly this season Toronto’s faithful have been preoccupied enjoying the fruits of those selections. Mark Hunter and his group has hit the jackpot already but must continue to supplement the foundation of the group with this year’s selections and beyond. In saying that our attention has shifted from the prospects to the current roster, this is why we are relying on the NACS rankings more than ever to help gauge which players can fill the necessary voids (Peter Baracchini has already documented and discussed who the Leafs should contemplate taking in his well crafted piece earlier this year 2017-draft-wish-list/ ). Seidel has been in the rinks, talked to the coaches, put in the time. Mark is a proven and respected in the hockey community and along with his assembled Scouts have put in hours of work and travel to compile their rankings on prospects around the globe to provide them to the fans of hockey. The fact that we are fortunate enough to be able to share them with our fans, and the hockey world is humbling each time this opportunity arises.
Thanks as always, we appreciate it immensely.
Without further ado, here is the Top 100 from the Team at North American Central Scouting. Enjoy.