Small, skilled wingers, offensive defenders that need to work on defending, and a few 5’9” centres were chosen by the Leafs at the draft.
Smart, smart players that were a steal for the Leafs…… apparently.
That’s all I have for you on that.
I really do hope some of these picks turn into the next Brayden Point, because that’s what Kyle Dubas is searching for.
“We just want guys on our team that are really competitive, night in and night out. They make life hard on the opposition with their speed and their pressure and their physicality, but they have to be able to play as well. So they may not be some of the typical names that some people look at and say ‘well, we know that guy is tough’ in the typical sense. But we’ve done a lot of work in studying what exactly we want and what group we think will be competitive and able to compete in that setting, at an effective level for our team. So Sheldon and I have spent a lot of time on it and approached the scouting staff who spent a lot of time on it and we have a good sense of what we’re trying to do, it’s just a matter now of if the market will allow us to and whether our cap space will allow us to.”
– Kyle Dubas
A few things to keep in mind here in regards to what you should expect from the Leafs today.
- They want players with speed that forecheck.
- They are only going to do what their cap space allows them to do (so no Alex Pietrangelo, for example).
- No goons or tough guys, not that those players should be a priority anyway.
So, a few players that I think they could be chasing are:
A defensive forward through and through, Larsson had a career high 18pts this year. I’ve been told that he’s a 3rd liner but I would expect more offense from a 3rd liner. He’s a 4th line centre that can help the penalty kill and play safe minutes against top competition. There’s nothing wrong with that at all.
Also a 4th line centre, Richardsons scouting report reads a lot like Larssons. He’ll help the penalty kill and can forecheck with the best.
Once a legit 3rd line centre, Eakin may have lost a step. It would be fair for the Leafs to ask if he had another year or two left in the tank though, as he is only 29 years old.
Michael Del Zotto
Cheap depth on the blueline is never a bad thing. Del Zotto can play either side, isn’t afraid to block shots and lay the body, and can help advance the puck. He’d be a good addition to a thin blueline.
This would be their biggest addition of the day if they can manage to sign him. I don’t think the Leafs will have the cap space to afford much more than a player of Gudas’ status. This is a player that the boomers and millennials will agree on as his advanced stat lines look great and he likes to play a physical game.
A 3rd String Goaltender
For expansion draft purposes I would expect the Leafs to sign a goaltender today (or soon). They need a player that will be under contract for the next 2 seasons unless they want to re-sign Andersen before the expansion draft and risk losing Jack Campbell. Ian Scott and Joseph Woll are exempt from the expansion draft.
I’m going to end this with a player that I want, rather than one I think they can get.
Hamonic could play big minutes next to Morgan Rielly, and he has a lot of gas left in the tank. He’d be the perfect complement to the Leafs’ star defender.
MacKenzie Weegar would be a great addition for the Leafs. The Panthers are rumoured to be interested in Alex Pietrangelo and they have the cap space to land him. That could result in Weegar being on the move.