During and shortly after the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, you’re probably going to read a whole bunch of articles about which teams had good drafts, which teams had mediocre drafts and OHNOMYTEAMDIDN’TTAKEPLAYERXTHISISTERRIBLEBURNEVERYTHING. I just want you to know that none of those people know anything.
Of course I’m being mildly facetious. Everybody has an opinion on whether or not their team had a good draft or not, and that’s perfectly fine. It’s just important to realize we’re not going to really know who had the best draft until probably at least four years down the road. Drafting 17- and 18-year-olds, as you may have heard, is an inexact science.
So now that we have some time between us and past drafts, I thought it would be cool to see how the Toronto Maple Leafs have done. I plan on looking back at their individual drafts, starting with the year 2000 – also known as the year everybody thought computers were going to take over the world or something – today. Let’s see how the Leafs did…
…and compare their draft with the rest of the league:
-The Leafs didn’t fare too badly in this draft. They finished right around average in NHLers per pick, a little below average in NHL games played, a little bit above average in NHL points and Mikael Tellqvist had a better career than most of the other goalies drafted.
-The issue with the Leafs was their one shining star from the draft, Brad Boyes, ended up being dealt less than three years later in the Owen Nolan trade, before he had played a game in the blue and white. Thanks a lot, Pat Quinn!
-Nolan Schaefer played only seven NHL games for the Sharks, but managed to put up a highly respectable .920 save percentage. All of the other goalies from this draft who only had a proverbial cup of coffee in the NHL had save percentages below .900. Schaefer didn’t play professional hockey last season but spent the two seasons prior in the Swiss league.
-The Los Angeles Kings had the best draft, picking longtime NHLers Alexander Frolov, Andreas Lilja and Lubomir Visnovsky. The Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators and Calgary Flames also had great drafts.
2000 NHL All-Draft Teams
RW- Justin Williams
LW- Dany Heatley
D- Paul Martin
G- Henrik Lundqvist
C- Jarret Stoll
RW- Tomas Kopecky
LW- Marian Gaborik
D- Lubomir Visnovsky
D- Brooks Orpik