Who Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Draft in the First Round?

Shane HouseAnalyst IApril 15, 2008

First off before I say anything else I just wanted to say something that Don Cherry has been saying for years.....THE LEAFS HAVE TO DRAFT MORE LOCAL BOYS!! I mean who out of all the players in the draft will work harder then everybody else to become a Leaf....people born and raised in the Toronto area. Anybody who is a fan of the Blue and White would do anything, literally anything to be in a Leaf game. So why not draft some? Or at least some Canadian players I mean if the Leafs draft one more European project I will shoot myself (not literally but I will be very pissed). Not to say they aren't good but too many of them turnout to be busts. Anyways here are my pics for this years Leafs first round draft pic:


Zach Bogosian

TSN says:Hampered by a broken bone in his wrist in the playoffs, the Peterborough Pete defenceman from Massena, NY, rocketed up the charts this season because he's the total package - a strong skater who can generate offence, hit, fight and play with an edge.
2007-08 Stats with Peterborough (OHL): 60 GP, 11 G, 50 A, 61 PTS, 72 PIM

I Say: I think he is a good, solid blueline presense that is strong on his feet and brings some grit to the blueline as well. Obviously he can put up points with his point a game pace this year and I think would be a perfect complement for Kaberle.

Projection - I project him to be a top 4 defencemen in the future who gets 40 points a year and a rash of penalty minutes. Smaller version of a Chris Pronger type.


Drew Doughty

TSN Says:With and without the puck, the Guelph Storm blueliner makes the game look easy. He's a mobile puckhandler with great offensive instincts and a terrific mind for the game.
2007-08 Stats with Guelph (OHL): 58 GP, 13 G, 37 A, 50 PTS, 68 PIM

I Say: I watched him at the World Juniors and this guy has great feet and is a phenomincal skater. Great with the puck and a great passer as well. Can be physical if he has too and has a heavy shot from the point that is hard to stop.

Projection-  This guy reminds me of a little less physical version of Scott Stevens. Not the most offensively gifted but is ahead of his years with his defensive positioning and will be a lifetime Top 4 NHLer.


Alex Pietrangelo

TSN Says: The Niagara Ice Dog defencemen elevated his play at both ends of the ice in the playoffs to mount a serious challenge to both Bogosian and Doughty, but his season is now apparently over because he is in hospital with a lacerated spleen as a result of mononucleosis.                                                                            2007-08 Stats with Niagara (OHL): 60 GP, 13 G, 40 A, 53 PTS, 94 PIM

I Say: Unlike Doughty and Bogosian this guy is not as strong in the defensive zone but makes up for it in offense. Has a booming shot from the point and is a snipe show as well. He will need work still with his defense but it is getting better.

Projection - This guy will be a powerplay force to be recond with and will be a pure Offensive Defensemen. When I see this guy I think Sergei Gonchar. Will be a Top 4 powerplay specialist with about 40 points and 10 goals a year.


Nikita Filatov

TSN Says: Talented Russian forwards have become draft-day wild cards, but Filatov is clearly the No. 2 forward behind Stamkos and could conceivably eclipse one of the Big Three on defence because his temperament and attitude appear exemplary. 2007-08 Stats with CSKA Moscow (RUS. I): 5 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 PTS, 0 PIM

I Say: I know I said Europeans are very sketchy to draft but this guy is the real deal. Unlike most Russians he has a great attitude towards the game and is very smart with the puck. Plus with the great Mats Sundin nearing the end of his career the leafs will need a No. 1 center to go with Tlusty on the left side.

Projection - It is very rare that you will ever hear out of my mouth that I like a Eastern European player but this guy is the package. This guy will at least be a No. 2 playmaking center in the NHL who gets at least 50-60 points a year.


Luke Schenn

TSN Says: The Kelowna Rockets blueliner is a big, strong physical presence who excels as a shutdown defensemen. Some say the Big Three should be the Fab Four with Schenn.                                                                                              2007-08 Stats with Kelowna (WHL): 57 GP, 7 G, 21 A, 28 PTS, 100 PIM

I Say: I love this guy. He's got size and grit along with an amazing defensive presence. Another guy I watched in the World Juniors and was impressed. Has a really good first pass that will convert to the NHL really well.

Projection - This guy will be a Top 4 shutdown defensemen which the Leafs really need on there blueline. Will probably get 25 points a year and reminds me of a Robyn Regehr.


Out of this draft class that I picked my favourite if you couldn't already tell were Filapov and Schenn. I would say Doughty but the Leafs won't get him unless they trade up. The Leafs do need a new No. 1 Centre because of Mats Sundin getting old but knowing the Leafs it won't happen. So my pick for the Leafs will be.......

                                               Luke Schenn                                                    

The early reports on the Leafs indicate that they are looking for a defensemen in the first round. They like Pietrangelo and a big slow guy named Tyler Myer who I did not mention because I don't like him. He is basically 6ft7 pylon like Aki Berg was and the Leafs do not need that. If Cliff wants a defensemen that will be a staple in the line-up for years to come then I suggest Luke Schenn. He is my pick to be the Leafs First Round Draft Choice.

.......but knowing the Leafs they draft shit so who care about my opinion right :)