TSN Hockey Draft Primer: Toronto Maple Leafs

As the 2020 NHL draft approaches, TSN Hockey provides an initial draft for each of the seven Canadian NHL clubs. Today, we continue with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

2019 review
Nick Robertson had a thrilling performance in 2019-20 at OHL – scoring 55 goals in 46 games for Peterborough and winning a four-match post-season Test (collecting his first goal in the NHL) with Leafs. In pick number 53, Robertson may be remembered as a 2019 draft heist. Nick Abruzzese led the USHL in points in 2018-19, was picked 124th by Leafs and went to Harvard where he led all new students into the NCAA in the 2019-20 points ( 44 in 31 matches).

The last 5 drafts rated
The Leafs has gathered first-level talent over the past five years – Mitch Marner, Austin Matthews, Rasmus Sandin, and Nick Robertson – with a focus on skill that ranged from obvious (Matthews and Marner) to inconspicuous (Sandin and Robertson).


Maple Leaf Stories
Fourteen of the 23 (61%) of the skiers chose Toronto in three years with Kyle Dupas running or participating in the draw and her height was less than six feet. Only one of 16 (6%) selected in two drafts under Le Lamorillo was under six feet. Toronto didn’t pick a single Canadian in 2019 for the second time in the franchise’s history. The only other time was in 2014. The Leafs picked a non-Canadian person with their first choice (regardless of high or low) in the last four drafts.

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Top 10 Toronto Outlook: Class B
This wasn’t surprising, but Leafs compiled a probability list with a bonus for skill. Robertson became the first CHL player since Alex DeBrincat as an Erie player in 2016-2017 with an average of more than one goal per match. Sandin was named the best defender in the 2020 World Junior Championships. Abruzzisi tied for third place in the NCAA scoring. TSN Scouting Director Craig Patton assigned Toronto a grade B for her best odds group. Not included on the Leafs roster but associated with the organization is CHL Defender of the Year Noel Hoefenmayer, the 21-year-old who signed a contract with AHL Marlies after accumulating 26 goals and 82 points in 58 matches for Ottawa 67..

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2020 Lockahide
Last off-season, Toronto swapped out its first Carolina (# 13) Hurricane pick to get Patrick Marlow’s necklace out of her hands. Off-season, Leafs replaced Kasperi Kapanen for Pittsburgh in First Penguin Pick (# 15). Toronto had picks three late in both the sixth and seventh rounds; These six choices represent the highest number in the league. Two current Leafs members were selected in the seventh round, Andreas Johnsson (2013) and Pierre Engvall (2014).


Draft survey results
The button identifies the basic need for Toronto as true defenders. The last time Toronto drafted a right-hand side keeper who became a bona fide NHLer was Luke Schenn in 2008 (No. 5). Timothy Liljegren was picked in 2017 (# 17), but he hasn’t yet established himself as the main cast. Which of the next group of defenders – all from the Canadian Hockey League – would you pick him for cards in 15th place?


Who Should Leafs Pick by # 15 in the 2020 Draft?

Craig’s Choice:
Schneider, the 3-4th right-hand defender in the mold Jacob Troppa, was named to the WHL Eastern Conference’s first all-star team. If the Leafs decided not to go for a D-man, the exciting two-way Brandon Center Ridly Greig would be a good fit. Him a comparison? Nazem Qadri, the former paper.

Draft NHL Hockey TSN Primer

Monday, September 14 – Montreal Canadiens
Tuesday September 15 – Ottawa Senators

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