Toronto Maple Leafs: 2010 NHL Draft Review

Jon McKelvieContributor IJune 28, 2010

Toronto Maple Leafs: 2010 NHL Draft Review

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    After a very quiet Friday night that left a lot of Leafs fans watching in disappointment, Brian Burke and the Leafs management were alive and kicking on Day Two right from the start of the second round. The Kaberle trade talk seemed to quiet down while Burke was focused on getting more picks and moving up in the rounds. Toronto ended up picking seven times this year and even without the first rounder, Dave Morrison's scouting crew picked up a nice crop of young players.

LW- Brad Ross (43rd Overall Acquired from Chicago)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Portland Winterhawks (WHL) - 71GP 27G 41A 68Pts 203PIM

    On Friday night, Brian Burke stated he tried hard to get a 1st round pick and was going to keep trying for a 2nd round pick. With Chicago having five of them, Burke was able to pull a deal that sent unsigned prospect Jimmy Hayes (60th overall in 2008) to the Hawks (who had just drafted Jimmy's brother Kevin) for the 43rd overall pick.

    Analysis

    With the 43rd overall, the Leafs took agitator Brad Ross. The 6'1, 167 lbs left winger played along side of 1st round draft picks Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Johansen for Portland and is considered one of the most hated players in the WHL. Known for getting under opposing players skin, the Lethbridge, Alberta native plays the game in all ends and his hard work in every game adds to his reputation to become an effective NHL player in the future. The plus side about Ross is that not only is he expected to get into the other team's heads, he also carries an offensive upside that deserves more credit than he gets. Look for Ross at the World Junior camp for Team Canada this year.

    NHL Potential

    Unless Ross works himself to death this off-season, don't expect him to be apart of the Leafs anytime soon. But, when he is ready to take that next step into the NHL, he should be able to put up 20 goals a year. Many scouts have compared Ross to Tampa Bay's Steve Downie and Dallas Stars' Steve Ott as the usual everyday pest that can also contribute in the goal scoring area. If Leafs fans want a good idea of Ross's future, think of Darcy Tucker.

C- Greg McKegg (62nd Overall)

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    2009/2010 Statistics
    Erie Otters (OHL) - 67GP 37G 48A 85Pts 32PIM

    Analysis

    At 6'0, 185 lbs, McKegg plays a bigger and stronger game than what he is shaped out to be. Not only does he have a catchy name, but the St.Thomas, Ontario native plays a two-way game while being much stronger on the offensive side. Greg finished with a +18 for the Otters this season, who's defensive troubles held the team back from being a force in the playoffs despite having four 30 goal scorers. He claims himself to be a solid sniper because of his tremendous shot which is known to be his strongest asset. Along with his shooting, McKegg is great at working the puck down low and is not afraid to drive to the net. The one concern for McKegg that dropped him so low was his horrible rookie year, tallying only 18 points in 64 games and a -13.

    NHL Potential

    If McKegg's production goes well, he can certainly become a top 6 scoring threat at NHL level, but that's a big if, which is a reason for his fall in the draft. On a positive side, have suggested McKegg is very close to becoming NHL ready and could possibly make a Ryan O'Reilly leap, but I myself have my doubts on this one. An NHL comparable to McKegg is Jeff Carter, while it's unfair to compare a 3rd round pick to a former 46 goal scorer, their playing styles are very similar

RW-Sondre Olden (79th Overall Acquired from Los Angeles)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Modo J20 (SuperElit) - 32GP 7G 20A 27Pts 22PIM

    For the second time today, the Leafs made a deal to get a higher pick in the draft. They traded away a 3rd round pick in the 2012 Draft to the Los Angeles Kings for the 79th overall pick that was used to take Norwegian Sondre Olden.

    Analysis

    Olden is 6'4, 176 lbs and plays a power forward style game. He has an upside in speed and can produce offensively along with the ability to kill a penalty. Sondre is very creative and his hockey IQ is what makes him a lethal player. He knows where to be at the right time, and is a weapon on the powerplay. One of the most amazing things to note about Olden is his play in the U-18 World Juniors, when he put up 7 goals and 15 assists in only 5 games for Norway. Being a solid two-way player, Sondre is also inconsistent, and at times will be invisible in games. He is a very lanky player and needs to bulk up in order to compete at a higher level. You should good peak of him when he plays for Norway next year at the World Juniors.

    NHL Potential

    While not proving much in any professional league, Olden was a gamble of a pick that Leafs European scout Thommie Bergmann was confident in. If Olden gets heavier and keeps up his production, he can become a top six goal scorer at NHL level. A fair NHL comparable for Olden would be Nikolai Antropov and maybe even Johan Franzen. Sondre could play in the SEL next season and will need an extra year or two to develop before making a appearance on the Leafs roster.

D-Petter Granberg (116th Overall Acquired from Washington)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Skellefteå (SuperElit) - 40GP 2G 7A 9Pts 39PIM

    To get the 116th, the Leafs traded down 4 spots from 112th and also acquired the 146th from Washington.

    Analysis

    The Swedish native Granberg is a big, strong and physical shut down defensemen. Standing at 6'2, 201 lbs, Petter is well positioned and plays a very safe game. Unlike most stay at home defensemen, Granberg is great with the puck and can make a decent outlet pass. He isn't the strongest on his skates, but don't expect to go into a corner with Granberg without getting bruised up. Petter has a 100% defensive mind so he won't be much help in the offense category. He will also compete for a spot on the Swedish WJC roster next year.

    NHL Potential

    Granberg is strong enough to play at NHL level, but he will need a year or two to tweak up his game. He has the potential to be second or third pairing defensemen in the near future. A good comparison for Granberg would be Douglas Murray. As I said earlier, he doesn't play to score goals, just to prevent them in a well disciplined way.

RW- Mike Brown (Acquired from Anaheim for the 122nd Overall)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Anaheim Ducks (NHL) - 75GP 6G 1A 7Pts 106PIM

    Brown is another addition to Burke's idea of "belligerence, pugnacity, testosterone etc". With 106 PIM last year, it's not hard to notice he's another fighter to play on the Leafs' fourth line. He's still only 25 and the Leafs management are hoping Brown can produce more offensively while still being able to beat up opposing enforcers.

RW- Sam Carrick (144th Overall)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Brampton Battalion (OHL) - 66GP 21G 21A 42Pts 96PIM

    Analysis

    If you ever wonder what a "Burke" type player is. Sam Carrick fits the description quite well. He's hard worker that doesn't shy away from the physical game who can also play at both ends of the rink. Surprisingly, his 42 points were second in Battalion's scoring. At 6'0, 188 lbs, he doesn't necessarily have the gifted talent to produce much offensively, but because of the effort he brings day in and day out, Sam seems to be that one player that always gets the job done.

    NHL Potential

    If things turn out well for Sam, he can end up being a great bottom six player in the NHL. He won't be expected to score every game but can bring energy to the team with a big hit or a fight. If you want a good idea of Carrick, the likes of Darryl Boyce or Darroll Powe are good comparisons.

RW/LW- Daniel Brodin (146th Overall)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Djurgården (SEL) - 30GP 2G 3A 5Pts 26PIM

    Analysis

    The 6'1, 172 lbs enforcer from Sweden plays with intensity in every game. With the Leafs going with the scouting of Thommie Bergmann for the third time, the 20 year old over-ager possesses an advantage in speed and physicality. If you watched the World Juniors this past year, you would have noticed Brodin who was the most physical for the swedes. He drives to the net and isn't afraid to shoot the puck from any area. Expect Brodin to get the greasy type goals as he can be a pest in front of the net.

    NHL Potential

    Since he's 20 years old, Brodin could be the first of the 2010 Leafs draft class to make a hop to the NHL. He already had a taste of North American hockey in Saskatchewan at the World Juniors and with his style of play he could bold well in with a bottom six role. Daniel will definitely need another year of professional hockey in the SEL to work on his game. He could become a fan favorite type player for the Leafs, but as of now, he still has a lot more to learn before anyone can confirm his future in the NHL.

C- Josh Nicholls (182nd Overall)

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    2009/2010 Statistics

    Saskatoon Blades (WHL) - 41GP 18G 30A 48Pts 55PIM

    Analysis

    Nicholls had a horrible start to this season offensively which decreased his initial value. After about half way through, his game picked up, being a key player to the Blades' penalty kill along with some points. It's getting pretty easy to notice that Burke loves the hard workers whether they are gifted with talent or not because Nicholls fits this category very well. Josh is a great forechecker and never gives up on the play. Expect him to improve his offensive game next season with the Blades when he is given bigger role with the top six forwards.

    NHL Potential

    Nicholls will have to show a lot more to get a spot in the NHL, but from what scouts saw in him in the second half of this season, he can eventually be awarded in a 3rd or 4th line role with the Leafs. He will need a year or two more to develop like most other draftees so we will just have to see how he rounds out his game.

The Verdict?

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    After watching Tyler Seguin put on a Bruins sweater, the Leafs ended off on a high note on Saturday when they picked up a decent class. While it's hard to tell how good drafts go until about four or five years in the future, I'll give kudos to Burke and his scouts for picking up some players with good potential. This year, the Leafs really paid attention to Swedish scout Thommie Bergmann who was responsible for the three of the solid Europeans they picked up. He is the same scout that picked up other current NHLers such as Steen, Stralman, Gunnarsson and Stalberg. As for the rest of the picks, Burke went all Canadian and got a group of hard workers who in a few years may don the Leafs jersey. No matter how depressing it was to see the Boston Bruins call out the 2nd overall pick, I really think Morrison and company did an excellent job in making up for the missing 1st rounder Burke was hunting for.

    Grade: 9/10