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Toronto Maple Leafs Will Select Nick Ritchie According To Craig Button


Well, after watching TSN’s annual mock draft special, I can’t say I’m surprised. At least when it comes to his belief of who the Toronto Maple Leafs should take.

Craig Button’s mock draft started out the way many mocks this year are starting. Aaron Ekblad went to the Florida Panthers, Sam Bennett to the Buffalo Sabres, Leon Draisaitl to the Edmonton Oilers, Sam Reinhart to the Calgary Flames and Michael Dal Colle went to the New York Islanders.

According to the mock, Vancouver then would take Jake Virtanen, the player who I have the Leafs taking in Editor in Leaf’s mock final mock draft. Two picks later, the Leafs would then take Nick Ritchie. How shocking!

Now, I’m not surprised that Button has the Leafs picking Ritchie. He’s the prototypical Leafs draft pick. He’s big, tough, and can hit real well.  So what’s the problem? He’s the prototypical Leaf pick.

The Leafs are known for taking big, tough and, dare I say it, truculent. Where has it gotten them? Not too far. The Leafs need to take skill players. Look what happened the last time the Leafs drafted for skill? It was Morgan Rielly in 2012. That’s worked out pretty well so far.

Let’s just say the first seven picks go exactly as Button predicts (with Haydn Fleury going to the Carolina Hurricanes) and Nikolaj Ehlers is still available, if I were the Leafs, I would be taking him. He offers lots of skill and has been playing with Jonathan Drouin.

Now, I don’t have any problem with Ritchie. I would just prefer the Leafs take someone else. If they do, he better be as NHL-ready as some are saying because I hope he’s playing for the Leafs next season and prove he’s worthy of that pick. That would leave no time for him to be doubt from Leaf fans that he was just another bad pick.

Will the Leafs pick Ritchie, or will they go with someone else? We’ll see on Friday.

Tags: 2014 NHL Draft Nick Ritchie Toronto Maple Leafs

7 Comments on Toronto Maple Leafs Will Select Nick Ritchie According To Craig Button

  1. JJVmlf says:

    Ehlers or nylander for me please

  2. Andrew says:

    Ideally Virtanen will still be available and I would be shocked and disappointed if that were the case and the Leafs didn’t take him. But, assuming he is gone and Ritchie is available, I think he is the best pick. Their top 6 is very small. Adding Ritchie to your second line eventually (probably a couple years) and Gauthier to your third could make the Leafs that much more difficult to play against. The difference between past Leaf draft picks where they’ve gone for size (e.g., Biggs) is that Ritchie also has elite skill. Ritchie would be great for going up against Lucic and the Bruins or for picking on MTL D. He also has the potential to be a line mate of Kessel and allow him to play 6 inches taller. On the PP he could act as an immovable object in front of the net. It’s a much more conservative pick than Ehlers, but i like it – if he doesn’t develop into the top 6 that he should be he case easily be a banger in your bottom 6.

  3. jntoronto says:

    Let’s all pray they don’t take Ritchie. Pray hard.

  4. Stan Smith says:

    For a team that supposedly takes size over skill how did they end up with such a small skilled team? I would think you would Draft for skill and size if at all possible.

  5. Peter Hefner says:

    Move on up and get a skilled center short up the middle need a Bennett, . Reinhardt or Draisaitl!

  6. D.WAdair says:

    If Virtanenis gone you can bet your boots it will be Richie and well it should be, he will play whether top 6 or bottom 6 but he will play. Could be a steal or a dud but thats the chance you take.

  7. Nick says:

    You say you would rather the leafs don’t draft Ritchie but if they do he needs to earn being picked 8th by playing in the nhl next year. You would prefer Ehlers to be picked at 8th, he weighs under 170 pounds, you think he will play in the big league next year? I can’t see him in the NHL until he fills out and bulks up and that can take a few years. One big hit (clean hit) from one of the big boys on defence he will be timid and hesitate whenever he gets the puck, that if he doesn’t shatter when they hammer him

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