Is it time for Toronto to do a local draft?

The Toronto Maple Leafs need to be hit once more and only have three swings to connect.

Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner-William Nylander-Morgan Riely-John Tabares’ core general manager Kyle Dubas has handcuffed amateur scout staff to win now.

As in 2021, Reefs holds a total of three picks towards the seven-round NHL draft.

Unlike last summer, the organization emphasized maintaining the first round by resisting another Nick Foligno-type gambling. And as Toronto’s lead pool is thinning to boost its competitive window, Dubas needs to nail this top selection.

“I’m very happy that the amateur scout staff did things well, even though I didn’t have many picks in two of the three drafts,” said Winnipeg in the third round of 2022. Dubas, who fought off (via Vancouver) with Travis, said. Dermot trade.

Because there is no immediate help for the old oneWin the playoff round! “ The hurdle is 25th-an overall pick that requires more development, Dubas could make more noise at the Bell Center by hitting a trade.

That said, it’s been seven years since Maple Leafs drafted Canadians in the first round (Mitch Marner, 2015). A few talented, homemade candidates are in a mix of about 12 players who can hit the Maple Leafs ball cap on Thursday night.

Experts find it even more difficult to predict the second half of Round 1’s draft orders, as the pandemic throws a wrench into the development of so many prospects and stunts the scout’s viewing sample. increase.

Here are some things to keep in mind. (A) Dubas generally loves shooting for high-end skills and the possibility of safer play, regardless of the player’s height. (B) If GM feels he can trade down, he can steal another lottery and still get his man.

Draft topic

TOR 1 (25th), WGP 3 (79th), TOR 7 (218th)

Potential Round 1 target

Luca Del Bel Belluz, C, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)

Maple Leafs spoke again with Delverbers after the combine, and the native Woodbridge would be thrilled to be drafted by his boyhood team.

From 2021 to 2010, Centerman scored 30 goals and 76 points on his second tour with Steelhead. His plus 23 rating shows Debel Bells is proud of his interactive games.

The 18-year-old left shot states that Auston Matthews is a creative playmaker who studies how to play without a pack and enjoys playing in the D zone.

One of Del Bel Belluz’s Steelheads teammates, Port Hope-born center Owen Beck, Ontario, could also be in Leafs.

Ivan Miloshnicenko, LW, Omsk (VHL)

I’m convinced that the pipeline that brought Russians like Nikita Zaytsev and Ilya Mikeev is still open as Toronto quietly ends its relationship with hard-working European recruiter Jim Pariafit. you can’t.

That said, when Dubas is in time, some intriguing Russian professional leftists (skilled Alexander Pelebarov is another) may still be on the board.

Miloshnicenko has been tagged as a Draft Day Wildcard, which has been declining in stock since 2021. In January, a 6-foot-1 child with an evil release shortened the season with a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. He will be allowed to resume training in June and will prepare for the 2022-23 season in Russia.

His health is dangerous. His shot is a weapon.

Jagger Firkus, RW, Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)

small? yes. Skilled? yes.

If only Filx played Sue’s Junior, he would adapt the Dubas type to T.

Jokes aside, kids can play. Filcus scored 36 goals, added 44 assists in 66 Warriors games, and scored another 12 points in 10 playoff games.

Alberta’s natives may be too small (5 feet-10, 154 pounds), but he is very competitive and driven to production. Not only is his shot fierce, but the wing finds a deceptive way to loosen it.

With a jaguar-like move, the Firkus Circus can add even more entertainment value to one of the NHL’s must-see crimes.

Last year’s top pick: Matthew Knees

When the general manager re-drafts the 2021 class, consensus says that Dubas seems to have stolen the University of Minnesota star in 57th place overall, with Knees being scooped up in the first round instead of the second. I am saying.

Literally, points per game (15-18–33 in 33 games) and Gophers’ plus 15, 6ft 3, 210-pound left as NCAA freshmen are expected to be the top nine power forwards. Knees outperforms Nick Robertson as the most promising outlook for Toronto’s system.

Soft hands. Hard hit. It protects the pack well. Drive to the slot. Tips for finishing.

Maple Leafs had a 19-year-old Phoenix native sign an entry-level contract before the end of the 2021-22 season (Nick Abrazes) and tried to make it a post-season option, but Nice was reappointed. I chose to-enroll in school for another winter of seasonings.

“He will be more ready a year from now,” said Sheldon Keef. “He spent the monster season in college hockey. He’s really active not only in college hockey, but also in juniors and the Olympics around the world. I’m very excited about his joining the organization.”

Either Knees may sign his ELC at the end of his sophomore campaign with Gophers and add Reefs weapons for the 2023 playoffs. (That’s a safer bet.)

Or — and this is horrifying — Knies plays a long game, refuses to sign with the team that drafted him, and goes on the Adam Fox route as an NCAA free agent. The player has some leverage here. (It’s too early to panic, but hey, it’s an option.)

Organizational needs

Goal keeping: Maple Leafs is back in goalkeeper hunt as a result of big swings and injured 2021 UFA Petrum Reimer mistakes, and failure to develop franchise drafts and regular starters since James Reimer in 2006. increase.

Dubas is generously offering to the imminent UFA Jack Campbell, as clubs with cap spaces like Detroit and New Jersey lie in the weeds.

Will GM play as a free agent (Ville Husso, Marc-Andre Fleury, Darcy Kuemper) or swing a weekend draft deal (Matt Murray, Semyon Varlamov, Jordan Binnington) to try to address his most obvious weaknesses? Are you sure?

Top Nine Left: The looming escape of Ilya Mikeev only further weakens Toronto’s weakest wings. Perhaps the solution is simply to advertise from the inside (Robertson?) And fund Knies to help in the spring. It will certainly be cost effective.

But if Dubai tends to make headlines, intriguing UFAs (Mason Marchment, Valeri Nichushkin) and potential trade targets (JT Miller, Tyler Bertuzzi) will chase.

Right shot defense: The right side of the Maple Leafs, which has left-handed players, is still in progress. The pending RFA Timothy Liljegren has signed a reasonable bridging agreement, but the question surrounds rights holders Ilya Lubeshkin (UFA) and Justin Hall (tradable).

For late-choice competitive teams, this is also a need that must be met through free agents or trade markets.

Is it time for Toronto to do a local draft?

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