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2012 NHL Draft: 5 Players the Maple Leafs Could Acquire with the Fifth Pick

Matthew SookramContributor IIApril 12, 2012

2012 NHL Draft: 5 Players the Maple Leafs Could Acquire with the Fifth Pick

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    After a disappointing season, Toronto Maple Leafs' fans were hoping that they would beat the odds and end up with the first overall pick in this year’s NHL entry draft.

    But, the Leafs being the Leafs couldn’t get lucky and wound up with the fifth overall pick. It is still not a bad position to be in,  but not ideal.

    However, there has been a lot of discussion as to who the Maple Leafs could still grab with their first-round choice.  

    The following slideshow looks at five players the Maple Leafs could take with the fifth overall pick.

Nail Yakupov

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    It is widely speculated that he will be taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers.

    However, there is also speculation that the Edmonton Oilers are looking more for a defenseman.

    They seem pretty set up front with a top six of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, Ryan Jones, Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky.

    Of course, the Oilers could always make room to support the talented Russian, but their main need seems to be on the back end, and recent rumors suggest the Oilers would listen to offers for their first overall choice.

    If the Leafs feel they need another winger, they could move up and try to acquire Yakupov.

    Barring that, chances are slim that he would make it past four other teams before the Leafs could take him.

    But at No. 5, there is always the chance the Leafs get lucky and other teams have their sights set on someone else.

Alex Galchenyuk

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    He was drafted first overall in the OHL Priority Selection by the Sarnia Sting in 2010.

    Galchenyuk is Yakupov’s centreman and that should make Leafs fans happy knowing this is a player who can set up his wingers.

    He produced 83 points this season with 31 goals and 52 assists.

    These are the stats that a Leafs centreman has been lacking in recent years and adding this kind of player in between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul would be an automatic upgrade to an area the Leafs desperately need to be more productive.  

    He has recovered from a torn ACL and rebounded in time to record four points in the Stings' six playoff games.

    The torn ACL should be a thing of the past and the Maple Leafs would be lucky to get Galchenyuk at No. 5.

Mathew Dumba

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    A defenseman who can score.

    Mathew Dumba stands 6' and when needed to, can throw around his whole 173-pound frame.

    Dumba is sure to be picked up early in the draft and if the first few teams go for the top offensive players, don’t be surprised if the Leafs decide to pick up Dumba.

    The Leafs are already stacked with young good defensemen either already at the NHL level, or working their way towards the big leagues by grinding it out in the AHL.

    That doesn’t mean they would pass up a top-notch defensive player.

    Getting Dumba would also make some of the other Leafs defensemen more expendable and may be used to bring in other pieces on the trade market.

Filip Forsberg

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    He won’t impress you with his stats, but he will impress you with his skills.

    Deemed as one of the best young skaters in the world, Forsberg has played at the most elite junior level in Sweden and is looking to transfer that talent to the NHL.

    Forsberg's speed makes him a can’t-miss prospect and his stick-handling skills are second to none.

    Along with that, he has a quick shot-and-release and can make something happen out of nothing. 

    The Maple Leafs may not be in the market for a left winger right at this moment, but if Forsberg is still around when it is their turn to pick—and the above-mentioned have already been chosen—the Maple Leafs would be kicking themselves a few years down the road when Forsberg is dangling around the Toronto netminders and lighting the lamp for anyone, but the Blue and White.

Mikhail Grigorenko

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    How about picking a center that put up 85 points in the QMJHL this past season.

    If the Leafs are worried about the ACL issue with Galchenyuk, they could always go with Grigorenko.

    Very similar to Galchenyuk, but Grigorenko has 20 pounds and two inches on him.

    He has played juniors in the QMJHL, which is said to be a softer, less competitive league.

    But, I seem to remember some guy named Mario Lemieux coming out of that league and he had a pretty good career.

    Either way, the Leafs, as stated earlier, need a dependable center.

    Who better to bring in than a fresh-faced, eager player trying to prove he belongs.

    He would fit in with the young crowd in the locker room and provide the Leafs with premier talent at a premier position.      

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