Welcome to another edition of Kyle Dubas’ draft day, where, outside of Matthew Knies, we’ll hear the names of many a small prospect with big hopes and dreams (those of Kyle and the prospects).
For this reason I’m not even going to bother to write up any more draft profiles. It actually seems a little pointless anyway, due to the fact that I 100% expect Dubas to trade back out of the 1st round to try to recoup picks that he spent on players that went on to help the Leafs lose in the 1st round over the past couple of seasons.
The Leafs hold just 3 selections in this draft (#25, #79, #218), just as they did in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. This, above all else, is reason enough for Dubas to want to recoup more picks.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “The team has players that could fetch a pick or two, such as Alex Kerfoot, Justin Holl and/or Jake Muzzin, the only move isn’t just trading back” and I have two things to say to that. First, shut the fuck up about Jake Muzzin. Kyle Dubas isn’t running the Tampa Bay Lightning and isn’t about to ask Muzzin to waive his no trade clause. If he was willing to ask it would be done already. Second, Dubas hasn’t shown much in terms of being willing to deal players for picks. Here are the players he has unloaded over the years for nothing but draft picks in return:
Nolan Vesey for a 7th round selection
Connor Carrick for a 7th round selection
Fedor Gordeev for a 7th round selection
Patrick Marleau + 1st + 7th for a 6th round selection
Martins Dzierkals for a 5th round selection
Travis Dermott for a 3rd round selection (wowee!!)
I will add that he technically gave up Kasperi Kapanen for a 1st round selection. While there were other players involved in the trade with Pittsburgh from both teams, it was the 1st and capspace that made up the real return.
In short, it’s prospects that they’ve lost faith in, being traded for late picks, as well as Dermott and Kapanen. Which makes my hope of Alex Kerfoot and Justin Holl being moved for 2nd-4th round selections seem less likely. Not impossible, but less likely all the same.
So, we’ll avoid the prospect profiles and trade scenarios for today, in an attempt to be realistic about whats to come.
Instead, I’ll simply assume that you will all do similar to what I plan to do. Watch the draft if you’re not busy, but then fall asleep around pick 10-12 and read about the guys they passed on in all the articles that will be released tomorrow.
Spoiler Alert: All of those articles will praise Dubas for trading back and recouping a 3rd round selection, because, you know, all those assistant GMs said so!!