While the beloved craziness of the 2014 NHL Draft continues the Toronto Maple Leafs made the safe and right pick in selecting Swedish forward William Nylander, a scoring machine who posted 25 points for the Swedish U18 team and put pretty decent numbers when playing for Modo in the SHL.
Everyone had Dave Nonis picking big winger Nick Ritchie, who some fans were strongly against with more skilled players on the board. Nylander can play either centre or wing so if he does play for the Leafs right away, a line of Nylander-Nazem Kadri-Joffrey Lupul could be lethal and important in developing Nylander as a top forward. Of course, a stint with the Toronto Marlies would not hurt either. Finally, it has seemed that Dave Nonis has made a good decision instead of forcing Leafs fans to rip their hair out.
The Leafs might well be looking at their future number-one centre and how fitting it would be for as their last true number-one was Swedish legend Mats Sundin, who carried the team on his back for most of his career.
Obviously it is way to early to really tell how this young and talented forward will turn out for the Leafs, which makes grading a player who you have hardly seen difficult and somewhat confusing. But he is the most talented player in the draft and the Leafs management team were actually competent enough to grab him at number eight. Biggest steal of the draft? Could very well possibly be and the Leafs freaking did it.
I would give the Leafs an A+. Everyone thought the obvious pick would be Nick Ritchie and Nonis came through in drafting Nylander. Now the development stage comes in as Nylander starts his career as a Toronto Maple Leaf.
Draft Grade: A+