Toronto Maple Leafs 2001 NHL Draft Retrospective


How did the Toronto Maple Leafs fare in the 2001 NHL Draft? More successful than the year before, at least.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had 13 picks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. Seven players out of that crop played in the NHL. Three of them played more than 300 games.

Let’s take a look at the Leafs picks.

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For the second straight season, the Leafs used their first-round pick to select a player from the Erie Otters. This time it was Carlo Colaiacovo. Even though he played parts of six seasons with the Leafs, he never played more than 48 games in a single season.

He was then involved in one of the worst trades in Leafs history, being sent to the St. Louis Blues along with Alex Steen in exchange for Lee Stempniak. Since then, Colaiacovo has played for the Blues, Detroit Red Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers.

Karel Pilar looked like would become a good member of the Leafs defense core for parts of three seasons leading up to the end of 2003-04 season. However, a viral infection that attacked his heart derailed his NHL career. He then left to play in his native Czech Republic. He tried to make an NHL comeback in 2007 but could couldn’t crack the rosters of either the Atlanta Thrashers or the Chicago Blackhawks. He is currently playing in the Czech league.

Brendan Bell has been fighting to stay in the NHL. After playing 32 games with the Leafs, he was traded to the Phoenix (Arizona) Coyotes. After that, he signed a contract with the Ottawa Senators and played 50 games for them. Since then, he has bounced around from the KHL, SHL, the Swiss league and the NHL. He is currently property of the Anaheim Ducks, playing for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL.

Jay Harrison has had a respectable career so far. He never made it full-time with the Leafs, playing only 20 games over three seasons. However, after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, he became a reliable part of their defense core until this season. He was traded to the Winnipeg Jets earlier this season.

Nicolas Corbeil ended the run of defenseman the Leafs had been taking and also the run of players that players that played in the NHL. He is currently playing in LNAH, a low-level hockey league in Quebec.

Kyle Wellwood played 188 games for the Leafs, seemingly surrounded by off-ice issues all the time. He has since played for the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks and the Winnipeg Jets. He last played nine games in the Swiss league (NLA) last season.

Playing 40 games combined with three teams, Maxim Kondratiev lasted the longest with the New York Rangers. After a four-game stint with the Anaheim Ducks in the 2007-08 season, he has since played in the KHL. He currently plays for Chelyabinsk Traktor.

Jaroslav Sklenar hasn’t played professional hockey since 2006, last playing in the Czech league. Ivan Kolozvary never left Europe and is currently playing in Germany. Jan Chovan, the only goalie the Leafs took in 2001, is currently playing in Kazakhstan.

Tomas Mojzis has played in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks, St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild. He currently plays for TPS Turku of the SM-liiga. Mike Knoepfli played the majority of his career in the Swiss league. He currently plays for HC Red Ice of the second-tier Swiss league, the NLB.

Tomorrow, we take a look at the 2002 NHL Draft.

Next: The Leafs & The 2000 NHL Draft

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