The goal of many Leaf fans this season is to see Toronto pick John Tavares in the upcoming draft. I must say I wanted this too, but there are three reasons why Toronto won't get the junior star.
1. No team with a chance of having one of the top two picks will trade there first round pick at the trade deadline. Even if the offer included Kaberle, Antropov, and Kubina.
2. No one will be as bad as the Islanders,Tharshers or Senators. These three teams are just in a group of their own. In no way could the Leafs be as bad even with Toskala in net.
3. Work Ethic. Not bad work ethic but good, This years Leafs team has such great effort levels that they could win some games with heart alone, again even with Toskala in net.
So with Tavares out of our minds, who are some players who Toronto could potentially pick up at the draft?
1. Jared Cowen D Spokane WHL
Almost unknown among fans Cowen didn't even make the World Junior Team for Canada this Christmas but that is because of his age not his skill. Cowen is a 1991 birth but, has the potential to become a franchise defenseman.
Cowen is a great defensive defenseman and could work wonders beside Luke Schenn on the blue line for years. This young man is special and any team that picks him will see that. Expect big things from this player.
2. Nazem Kadri C London OHL
Kadri well probably be the second London Knight picked in the top seven (behind teammate John Tavares) and if the Leafs can get their hands on them it will be a seen as a main stepping stone in the rebuilding process years down the road. Kadri is bursting with skill the young man from London, Ontario has knack for putting up points and could be an elite playmaker for the Leafs.
Nazem's weaknesses are that he sometimes gets to fancy with the puck and doesn't shoot enough but, he has good size at "6'1 and is a whiz at passing the puck. I would love to see Kadri and Grabovski on a line together, they could be commanding.
3. Evander Kane C Vancouver WHL
Another center Kane is a sniper who has decent wheels. Kane is amazing at putting the puck in the net, through 30 games this year in the WHL Kane has 26 goals and also 28 assists showing he can dish the puck off as well. Kane could be the cornerstone of the Leafs offensive attack for years to come.
4. Matt Duchene C Brampton OHL
Matt is the best forward behind Tavares in this draft and would kick any rebuild into. The young forward is great in both ends with 50 points and a +17 rating after 32 games in the OHL this season. Matt has learned many things from teammate and friend Cody Hodgson and is ready to take his steps towards the NHL, Matt could be future leader on the Buds.
5. Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson LW Sweden
Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson is a gifted offensive player and could challenge Duchene for the second forward spot. He skates very well and can be a sniper or playmaker. He has a could head on his shoulders as he has outstanding hockey sense. Svensson could replace a certain former Swedish Leafs player in a few years.
6. Ryan Ellis D Windsor OHL
A small player a 5'10" but has stupendous abilities. Ellis dazzled scouts at the World Junior Championship, quarterbacking Canada's PP with P.K. Subbon. In his rookie year in the OHL Ryan scored 63 points in 63 games and through 33 games this season he has a shocking 51 points and remember this guys a defenseman and a good one at that he is rated a +34 so far this season. Ellis is currently ranked eighth in the OHL in scoring.
So as you can see the Leafs can simply not go wrong this year as it is one of the best and deepest draft class in years. So although the Leafs won't get Tavares, don't worry anyone of these players isn't to bad anyway.