The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired their main four-man Core through the NHL Entry Draft.
Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly, William Nylander and Mitch Marner are great – but they don’t erase the Toronto Maple Leafs sorry draft history.
In fact, generally speaking, prior to this iteration of the team, I don’t think anyone would disagree that, throughout the years, the Leafs have been an awful team at drafting.
One of the worst. We’ve seen first overalls that pale to their peers, we’ve seen wasted picks, bad picks, mediocre picks and the ubiquitous traded picks that go on to have hall of fame careers.
Before 2012, I don’t think any Leafs fan would have batted an eye had they learned the team was hexed and cursed. All those years and you’d think at least a couple picks might have worked out a bit better.
Did the Leafs ever luck into an Erik Karlsson with a 12 pick? Sure, some nice late round picks turned out (Kaberle) but if we just stick to the first round, how do the Toronto Maple Leafs look over the last 30-odd years?
Since we are approaching the next draft, I figure it would be fun to just highlight each player the Leafs have picked in the first round. For the sake of symmetry we’ll start with a first-overall pick and finish with a first-overall pick.