2012 NHL Entry Draft: 5 Draft Day Questions for the Toronto Maple Leafs
There are many questions surrounding the draft this year that will hopefully be answered when all is said and done. Here are five questions concerning the Toronto Maple Leafs heading into Friday’s draft.
Will Alex Galchenyuk Be Available at No. 5?
Toronto could always try to swap picks with one of these teams in an attempt to land him, but will only do so if the price is reasonable. In my opinion, a move up is not likely. Galchenyuk is the big, talented center man the Leafs covet, but it may just not be in the cards.
Should the Leafs Take a Chance on Mikhail Grigorenko?
Again, I’m saying no.
The Leafs just can’t be sure whether they would be drafting an 18-year-old superstar whose production simply fell off because of a case of mono, or a 20-year-old lacking heart and determination who will bolt to the KHL the second things go sour in Toronto.
Only time will tell, but right now the Leafs can’t afford to take that big of a risk when picking higher than they have since 2009 when they traded up to select Luke Schenn fifth overall.
Filip Forsberg or Morgan Rielly?
Both are likely available at No. 5 and the Leafs can’t really go wrong either way.
Forsberg is a big Swedish power forward who would help the Leafs with their lack of size up front. Rielly is an offensive dynamo and would greatly improve the Leafs' mobility on the back end.
Even TSN analysts Craig Button and Pierre McGuire were split on who the Leafs should take. But for what it's worth, my guess is they’ll take Forsberg and be happy about it.
Will the Leafs Acquire Roberto Luongo?
All signs point to yes. The Leafs need him and he needs the Leafs. Whether or not it happens on the actual draft day is debatable, but it is very probable that this deal eventually gets done.
With Luongo the Leafs get a world-class goalie, likely for a lot less than he’s really worth due to his enormous contract. However, Luongo can shoulder the load in net and hopefully provide stability between the pipes.
Will the Leafs Acquire a Big Top-Six Forward?
Ryan Getzlaf, Jordan Staal, Bobby Ryan, Rick Nash and James van Riemsdyk are all names floating out there in trade speculation.
Nash and Ryan would likely cost too much to obtain, with teams like Philadelphia and the New York Rangers very interested in their services. The prices for Staal and Getzlaf are likely very high at the moment, and with both only a year away from unrestricted free agency, it may not be worth the risk of giving up vital young assets given the possibility they walk on July 1st, 2013 for nothing.
Van Riemsdyk is the most likely option. He’s big, strong and can finish, but there are questions about his health. Swapping Luke Schenn for van Riemsdyk is definitely in the realm of possibility, given the Flyers are in need of defence and Toronto has an abundance of solid young defensemen.
So there you have it folks, five questions concerning the Toronto Maple Leafs at the draft.
Please feel free to share your answers to the questions I posed in the comments below.
And remember, stay classy Leaf Nation.