Well, the balls didn’t roll the Toronto Maple Leafs way at the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery. As such, they will retain the eighth overall selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.
This is just one more thing for Brendan Shanahan to consider with his new role as team President. What will the Leafs do with the pick? Will they trade it or do they keep it? If they keep it, who do they pick?
At eighth overall, the Leafs are outside the consensus top five prospects of Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl, Sam Bennett and Michael Dal Colle. Barring someone falling down the draft, the Leafs will probably have a good shot at players such as Jake Virtanen, Nick Ritchie, Kasperi Kapanen or Brendan Perlini.
TSN Analyst Craig Button had a mock draft featuring the first 13 picks slated to pick. In his mock, he had the Leafs picking Ritchie, a 6’2″ right winger who played for the Peterborough Petes of the OHL. He is also a local kid, born in Orangeville, Ontario.
Another intriguing choice for the Leafs would be left-winger Perlini. Perlini is a linemate of Leafs’ third-round pick (82nd overall) Carter Verhaeghe. He is another big kid, standing at 6’3″.
For now, this is all just speculation. We are still over two months away from the 2014 NHL Draft so a lot can change between now and then.