Here we are, into May, with just four teams left vying for a swig from Lord Stanley. In Toronto, our focus is always on hockey, but not necessarily the intrigue of the playoffs. At least not since our numbers came in.
Our Maple Leafs own the top pick in the NHL Entry draft, a distinction they have not held since 1985. You all know who we selected and what he meant to us. Now we have the opportunity to bring in a player of maybe not the same ilk, but possibly an even larger impact. Blasphemy, yes, I am aware. To draft a true #1 center in Auston Matthews is a dream come true for Leafs Nation. Not without competition, debate has ensued as to whether Matthews is the clear cut choice. There is momentum being created by the recent play of Patrik Laine, a Finnish born snipe show with a massive frame to go with his limitless potential. With so many opinions out there, who can you trust.
- Chief Scout; NACS NHL Scouting
- Former NHL Draft Insider; Hockey Night in Canada
- Former NHL Draft Analyst; ESPN & The Hockey News
- Former Commissioner; NOJHL
- Former NHL Regional Scout; Minnesota Wild
As we gear up for June 24th and 25th in Buffalo, NY, it’s not the top of the draft I wonder about. I have a fairly good assertion whose name will be called before any else, and the NACS ranking below predicts the same. Keep in mind this isn’t a mock draft ranking, but #1 is that franchise C we’ve longed for. So beyond the suspense there, what about our next 11 picks? For myself, that’s the real mystery. Do we move up? Do the Leafs trade picks away? Or, do we take the podium 12 times and fill those cupboards with some of the names I just alluded to until the cupboard doors won’t close? It’s as much those picks that separate the winners and losers in the NHL as it is the high selections.
Below is May’s NACS draft ranking and I am sure it will prove interesting. I’d like to draw your attention to a few names from in the 48 to 62 range. Will there be a 3rd round steal at 61? Not to mention with two picks from 27 to 31, the Maple Leafs could hit another small jackpot.
Going into the 2016 Entry Draft Toronto have all options open. Here is a list of the Top 150 skaters eligible for selection according to the North American Central Scouting. Thanks yet again to Mark Seidel for his cooperation and willingness to share his thoughts and knowledge with LeafsHub.com and our readers.
If the below PDF does not work correctly on your device, ranking images are below…..