NHL Rumors IV: Maple Leafs and the Idea of Trading Up at the Draft

  •  Mike Ziesberger of the Toronto Sun: There is talk that the Maple Leafs are interested in moving up in the draft. At the draft combine, the Leafs set up a late interview with one of the players that is projected to go in the top three.

    “Word is, they are exploring moving up — it’s more than due diligence,” said a source familiar with the Leafs activities at the combine.

  • Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: The Leafs need to get creative to increase their talent, and moving up in draft could be one way to do so. Their 2015 1st round pick and Morgan Rielly are untouchable. Moving one of Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri would be intriguing.
  • Hope Smoke: Bob McKenzie: “There is one player the Leafs would be interested at the tip of the draft and that’s Sam Bennett” … “The scouts aren’t saying he’ll be as good as him but they compare Bennett’s game to Toews” … “I have no specific knowledge that the Leafs are trying to get up in that spot or that they want Bennett, but for a team that needs centre iceman that’s an option for them” … “Bennett is a centre, but he’s not a franchise defining player by any stretch of the imagination like a McDavid or Eichel” … “Bennett’s a real good C. There are a lot of scouts I talk to, and you have to be real careful how you throw this word around, but he plays like Jonathan Toews. Plays a similar game. Scouts aren’t saying he’ll be as good as Toews.” … “They are saying, when you have a player with those kinds of qualities that play the 200′ game that have some edge to his game, but also has the ability to be offensive and make plays, that’s an intriguing possibility” … “So, if you’re the Leafs & you’re always looking for that centre that can play in the league for 10-15 years this might be the guy”
  • Hope Smoke: Ray Ferraro: “If you’re moving up to get that pick in the draft, you’re making a significant move. You’re not moving your third line winger” … “Do you move Kadri and your 1st for the top pick? That’s the type of guy you’d need to move. Around that age”

34 Comments

  1. bmac

    June 5, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    If the leafs really are thinking of moving up in the draft they should look at moving out lupul, the 8th pick, carter verhaeghe and maybe a 3rd round pick for the 1st pick, then should try and move phaneuf and kadri to the oilers for the 3rd pick and sam gagner(since he seems to be on the outs there and has a bigger contract than kadri), then the leafs should pick ekblad and draisaitl(or bennett).

  2. CaseyW

    June 5, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    Enough of every leaf fan saying “there asking Dion for to much”…Dions cap hit is around 7 million… I mean cmon thats Shea Weber/Zdeno Chara/Ryan Suter type money. Personally I dont believe there asking him to do enough. I see him as a 3-4 defensemen… at best. Sorry leaf fans.

  3. DSCeee

    June 5, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Be fair. The Leafs decisions on draft day and beyond have been poor, often taking size and coachability over skill and hockey sense. Is that Morrison’s fault? He’s partly to blame, but often Leaf GM’s set the tone of who to draft, which is why the Leafs draft guys who have no hope of playing top 6 in the NHL, they never could and nobody saw them that way. They got depth players, they hoped.

    Will Nonis trade up? Since when has he ever? Will he add a first round pick? Again, that’s not his history. Morrison and his staff picking guys who can play top 6? Again, not likely, look back at the draft since 2006 and you see Kadri (an odd Burke call) and Rielly (who many saw as one scout pushing hard for).

    And Phaneuf? Any fan knows that if he plays under 24 minutes he’s solid, over he loses out, wears out mentally. Look at his last 20, he sank like a stone. But on a team where he’s playing 24- a night in the top 2 and he’s fine. Should the Leafs even out time with Rielly, Gardiner, Phaneuf, and Gunnarsson? Sure, of course, play a top 4 about 23 minutes each, spread it around, keep Phaneuf mentally sharp. Trade him and that’s what other teams will do.

    Me? I’d trade up, and keep the #8. Way too many guys who refuse to backcheck, play 200′. Can’t win that way. How many games did the Leafs look hungrier, more determined than the opposition? 2, 3? That’s embarrassing.

    Without a strong commitment to the draft in 2014-16 there will be no Cup by 2020.

  4. Mark Easson

    June 5, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    QoC TOI% 5 on 5 for Phaneuf is the highest for defenseman (30.1%) and 2nd highest behind only Toews (30.3%).

    http://www.extraskater.com/players/dashboard?season=2013&sort=qoc_toi

    Carl Gunnarsson is surprisingly second for dmen

    Remaining top 10:
    3. Chara
    4. Hjalmarsson
    5. Ekman-Larsson
    6. Oduya
    7. Weber
    8. McDonagh
    9. Giordano
    10. Kronwall