|"Ottawa really wanted you so we did you a favour"|
In The Art of Scouting, many of the scouts said that their main goal was to get two NHL players per draft. That is a lot easier said than done, especially if you don’t have a 1st round draft pick like the Leafs who've sat our the first round in 4 of the last 10 drafts. I understand drafting 18-year-olds is not as easy it looks, but I was curious about my Maple Leafs and if they had achieved this goal at the Draft in the past ten years. I knew they hadn't drafted any stars, but they did draft some NHLers, but two per draft? Let's see:
In one of the strongest drafts ever for the NHL. The Leafs best pick was at 57th overall and he wasn't even good enough to be an AHL player. The Bruins had the Leafs first rounder (sounds familiar) that was acquired from the San Jose Sharks who received the Leafs pick in the Owen Nolan trade (luckily for the Leafs, they took Mark Stuart). John Mitchell who got some screen time on HBO 24/7 this year is the only NHL player selected by the Leafs, but even he has more AHL games played than NHL. The Leafs failed miserably in drafting NHLers this year.
Remember when the Leafs had two amazing goalies at the 2006 World Juniors? Pogge winning gold for Canada and 1st round draft pick Tuukka Rask looking like the next superstar goalie in the league. Good times. Well, the Leafs were right in picking Rask who battles Tim Thomas in Boston for gametime. Stralman was looking like an NHL-ready defenceman, but when Columbus gives up on you and an 18-year-old beats you out of the Devils training camp it's hardly a success story. An OK draft to cap a year of no NHL hockey.
What do you think of the Maple Leafs drafts the last 10 years?