It looks like the Toronto Maple Leafs could be getting better at drafting.
Of course everyone expects the early-round picks to be more successful. However, when a team’s late-round picks turn out, the team usually gets better really quickly. Of course, the team that best exemplifies this is the Detroit Red Wings. Just looking at where they drafted Henrik Zetterberg makes people cringe.
Well, the Leafs are hoping that they have picked someone that is at least half as good as Zetterberg. The Leafs selected Andreas Johnson with the 202nd overall pick (seventh round) in the 2013 NHL Draft. So far it looks like they made a good pick.
After a season in which he scored 15 goals and added 29 assists for 44 points for Frolunda of the Swedish Hockey League, Johnson was named rookie of the year. Other nominees for the award were Kevin Fiala of HV71 and Johnson’s Frolunda teammates Alexander Wennberg and Tom Nilsson, who is a fellow Leaf prospect.
Johnson also played for Team Sweden at the 2014 World Junior Championships. In the tournament, he scored three goals and added three assists for six points in seven games. That production impressed a lot of people on this side of the Atlantic, who hadn’t heard much of him beforehand.
It is no sure thing that Johnson will ever be a productive member of the Toronto Maple Leafs but he has played very well for a seventh round pick.Hopefully the future is bright for him and the Leafs.