As most Leafs fans know, Toronto seems to have a tendency to mess up on draft day. But this year, I have a feeling they made the right choice, by selecting stay-at-home defenceman, Luke Schenn.
Schenn doesn't score much (7 goals & 21 assists in 57 games), but I think I speak for all Toronto fans when I say I'd rather him not score much than us having another McCabe.
Schenn is a big guy (6'2, 216 lbs.) and has been compared to that of Adam Foote, who has seen great success has a defensive-defensman throughout his career. According to scouts, "Luke can play a mean game and he plays a tough NHL-style defense that is guaranteed to get him a long hard look and career in the National Hockey League." and, "He has a tough edge to him, he has the ability to, if caught up ice, to work hard and get back in time to recover." This is why I believe Schenn will be a key part to the improvement of Toronto's weak defence in years to come.
Although that I feel Toronto has finally made a good choice, I still can't help but think of all the others they've chosen. Here's a list of the all of Toronto's first round picks since 1998:
- 1998 Entry Draft - Nikolai Antropov (10th overall) - Antropov did have a breakout year this past season (26 goals, 56 points), but eight seasons was far too long a wait for a 10th overall pick.
- 1999 Entry Draft - Luca Cereda (24th overall) - Swiss forward who has never even played an NHL game yet.
- 2000 Entry Draft - Brad Boyes (24th overall) - Never played for Toronto, and was traded to San Jose (along with Alyn McCauley) and a 1st round selection in the 2003 Entry Draft in exchange for Owen Nolan. Boyes eventually made his way to St.Louis, where he led them in goals this year, with 43 (6th overall in the league).
- 2001 Entry Draft - Carlo Colaiacovo (17th overall) - I'm a fan of Colaiacovo, and he is good..when he isn't injured that is. Ever since that concussion, he's never been the same, and always seems to be hurt.
- 2002 Entry Draft - Alex Steen (24th overall) - I actually don't think Steen was that bad of a choice by Toronto, although I was thinking that when he had a slow start to the 2006-07 season. He'll never be a top ten player, but I see no reason why he isn't a good asset to the team.
- 2003 Entry Draft - None
- 2004 Entry Draft -None
- 2005 Entry Draft - Tuukka Rask (21st overall) - I was very excited when Toronto selected Rask, because I again had a good feeling he would develop into a goalie Toronto can rely on for years to come (being the number one ranked European goalie). But, he never played for the Leafs, and on June 24th, 2006 he was traded to the Boston Bruins in exchange for Andrew Raycroft. He recorded his first NHL win the past season against the Leafs (in Toronto) in a 4-2 with the Boston Bruins.
- 2006 Entry Draft - Jiri Tlusty (13th overall) - Even after he scored two goals in his first NHL game, I wasn't convinced Tlusty would be a scoring machine. I was right, when he finished his first NHL season with 16 points (10 goals) in 58 games. He'll improve, but he won't ever be much. And don't forget about the incident where nude pictures of him surfaced on the Internet.
- 2007 Entry Draft - None - Thanks to the Rask-Raycroft deal
So, with these picks in mind, I'm hoping I'll be able to one day write an article about Luke Schenn's first Norris Trophy, or about how he led the Leafs to that long waiting Stanley Cup, with his shut-down defensive play (that is, if Toronto doesn't trade him).