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MAPLE LEAFS – A look back at a decade of drafts
Chris Savard
OurHometown.ca

MAPLE LEAFS – A look back at a decade of drafts
A look back at a decade of drafts for the Toronto Maple Leafs
PHOTO CREDIT - MapleLeafs.com

Cornwall - Aug. 15, 2011 - Below is a story that we originally ran in March. We have had a few requests for it, so we are running it again today. Enjoy

Hockey fans often talk about previous NHL Entry Drafts and what “could have been”. What if the Ottawa Senators had taken Chris Pronger or Paul Kariya instead of Alexandre Daigle in 1993? In 1980, why did the Montreal Canadiens pass on francophone sniper Denis Savard and select Doug Wickenheiser? Do the Atlanta Thrashers regret taking Patrik Stefan in 1999 instead of either of the Sedin twins or Martin Havlat?

I recognize that hindsight is always 20-20 and it is easy to be a Monday morning quarterback but I thought it would be fun to look back over the last 10 drafts and see who the Toronto Maple Leafs selected and who they missed. Could you imagine the following players in Blue and White – Milan Lucic, James Neal, Paul Stastny, Dustin Byfuglien, Jimmy Howard, Duncan Keith or Tomas Plekanec?

Searching the internet years after the draft and writing a column about it is fairly easy. NHL Scouts and General Managers have a tough job trying to predict the future when drafting 18 year olds. I don’t envy their job and this column is not meant to criticize or ridicule, simply to reflect.

It is likely too early to get a real feel for the most recent drafts or for how well the Buds did, but we will take a look at the draft years from 2001 – 2010.


2010 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of seven picks in this draft. In the second round, with the 43rd pick overall they selected LW – Brad Ross from the Portland Winter Hawks. Ross is currently having a solid year in junior. This is the same draft that the Boston Bruins selected C - Tyler Seguin with the Leafs’ first round pick as part of the Phil Kessel deal.

Other notable Toronto picks - To be determined

First Overall pick – Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Jeff Skinner, Carolina Hurricanes.


2009 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of seven picks in this draft. In the first round, with the 7th pick overall they selected C – Nazem Kadri from the London Knights. To date Kadri has played 18 NHL games and is expected to be a big part of Toronto’s future.

Other players of note that were available to the Leafs that year, instead of Kadri, include Dimitry Kulikov, Magnus Paajarvi, Ryan Ellis, and Calvin de Haan

Other notable Toronto picks – To be determined

First Overall pick – John Tavares, New York Islanders
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Tavares


2008 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of eight picks in this draft. In the first round, with the 5th pick overall they selected D – Luke Schenn from the Kelowna Rockets. Today, Schenn is a regular on the Leafs’ blueline.

Other defencemen of note that were selected after Schenn include Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, Michael Del Zotto, John Carlson, and Jason Demers. Other players of note that were available to the Leafs that year include Tyler Ennis, and Derek Stepan

Other notable Toronto picks – To be determined

First Overall pick – Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Stamkos


2007 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of six picks in this draft. In the third round, with the 74th pick overall they selected RW - Dale Mitchell from the Oshawa Generals. Mitchell has yet to play an NHL game.

Other notable Toronto picks – Carl Gunnarson

First Overall pick – Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Kane


2006 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of seven picks in this draft. In the first round, with the 13th pick overall they selected C – Jiri Tlusty from the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Tlusty was traded in 2009 to Carolina for Phillipe Paradis.

Other forwards of note that were selected after Tlusty include Chris Stewart, Claude Giroux, Milan Lucic. Other players of note that were available to the Leafs that year include Semyon Varlomov and Steve Mason.

Other notable Toronto picks – Nikolai Kulemin, James Reimer, and Viktor Stalberg

First Overall pick – Erik Johnson, St. Louis Blues
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – NIklas Backstrom, Washington Capitals


2005 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of six picks in this draft. In the first round, with the 21st pick overall they selected G – Tuukka Rask from Ilves Tampere Jr.. Rask never played a game for the Leafs and in 2006, he was traded to the Boston Bruins for Andrew Raycroft..

Other goaltenders of note that were selected after Rask include Ondrej Pavelec and Jonathan Quick. Other notable players that were available to the Leafs that year instead of Rask include James Neal, Paul Stastny, and Kris Letang.

Other notable Toronto picks – Anton Stralman

First Overall pick – Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Crosby
Notable late picks – PHX: Keith Yandle (105th), Sergei Kostitsyn (200th) and Patrick Hornqvist (230th)


2004 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of seven picks in this draft. In the third round, with the 90th pick overall they selected G – Justin Pogge from the Prince George Cougars. Pogge has played seven NHL Games.

Another goaltender of note that was selected after Pogge was Pekka Rinne.

Other notable Toronto picks – None

First Overall pick – Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Ovechkin
Notable late picks – NYR: Ryan Callahan (127th), BOS: Kris Versteeg (134th), MTL: Mikhal Grabovski (150th), NYI: Chris Campoli (227th) and MTL: Mark Streit (262nd)


2003 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of six picks in this draft. In the second round, with the 57th pick overall they selected D – John Doherty from Andover High School in Michigan. Doherty never played an NHL game.

Other defencemen of note that were selected after Doherty include Kyle Quincey, Tobias Enstrom, and Dustin Byfuglien. Other notable players that were available to the Leafs that year instead of Doherty include Jimmy Howard and Clarke MacArthur.

Other notable Toronto picks – John Mitchell

First Overall pick – Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Eric Staal, Carolina Hurricanes
Notable late picks – STL: Lee Stempniak (148th), SJ: Joe Pavelski (205th), and CHI: Dustin Byfuglien (245th)


2002 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of nine picks in this draft. With the 24th pick overall they selected C – Alexander Steen from Modo in Sweden. Steen was traded to St. Louis in 2008 with Carlo Colaiacovo for Lee Stempniak.

Other forwards of note that were selected after Steen include Jarret Stoll, Matthew Lombardi and Valtteri Filppula. Other notable players that were available to the Leafs that year instead of Steen include Duncan Keith and James Wisniewski.

Other notable Toronto picks – Matt Stajan, Ian White and Staffan Kronwall.

First Overall pick – Rick Nash, Columbus Blue Jackets
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Nash
Notable late picks – COL: Tom Gilbert (129th), CHI: James Wisniewski (156th), TOR: Ian White (191st), and BUF: Dennis Wideman (241st)


2001 Entry Draft
The Leafs had a total of 12 picks in this draft. With the 17th pick overall they selected D - Carlo Colaiacovo from the Erie Otters. Colaiacovo was traded to St. Louis in 2008 with Alexander Steen for Lee Stempniak.

Other defencemen of note that were selected after Colaiacovo include Fedor Tyutin, Christian Ehrhoff, Kevin Bieksa, Dennis Seidenberg, Marek Zidlicky and Johnny Oduya. Other notable players that were available to the Leafs that year instead of Colaiacovo include Mike Cammalleri, Jason Pominville, Tomas Plekanec, Craig Anderson, Cristobal Huet and Marek Svatos.

Other notable Toronto picks – Kyle Wellwood

First Overall pick – Ilya Kovalchuk, Atlanta Thrashers
Most Career Points of Draft Crop – Kovalchuk
Notable late picks – SJ: Ryan Clowe (175th), NYR: Marek Zidlicky (176th), and DAL: Jussi Jokinen 192nd)


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