Re-Drafting Toronto Maple Leafs History: 2014 NHL Entry Draft

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: William Nylander is selected eighth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27: William Nylander is selected eighth overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 06: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – JANUARY 06: Leon Draisaitl #29 of the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

#1. Florida Panthers

Actual: Aaron Ekblad

Re-Draft: Leon Draisaitl

Ekblad is a great NHL defenseman, but the Florida Panthers sure wish they had this pick back.

The Edmonton Oilers have the best two centers in the NHL with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but the Florida Panthers could have matched that with Aleksander Barkov and Draisaitl had they originally drafted the 6-foot-2 player from Germany.

When you score 50 goals and 105 points in a season, it’s hard to think that you’d be the second best player on your team, but that’s where Draisaitl was after the 2018-19 season thanks to McDavid.

However, with McDavid injured for seven games this season, Draisaitl showed that he can be the best player on Edmonton and best player in the NHL, when he scored 43 goals and had 110 points, en route to most likely winning his first career Hart Trophy later this summer.

With 422 points in 422 career games, Draisaitl has over 40 more points than the next player in his draft class and over 150 more points than third place in his draft class.

You can maybe only say this about the second pick in this re-draft, but Draisaitl already looks to be a lock for the Hockey Hall of Fame.

#2. Buffalo Sabres

Actual: Sam Reinhart

Re-Draft: David Pastrnak

As the original 25th overall selection in this draft, the Boston Bruins’ scouting department deserves an A+ for selecting Pasternak with that pick.

Similar to Florida before, the Buffalo Sabres didn’t draft terribly by selecting Sam Reinhart here, but the fact that they missed out on Draisaitl and Pastrnak shows you why they’re a bottom NHL franchise.

Pastrnak leads tghis draft class with 180 goals in 390 career games, but it’s his last four seasons where he’s done most of his work scoring the following each year: 34 goals, 35 goals, 38 goals, 48 goals.

Although Auston Matthews or Alex Ovechkin may have passed him if they played out the full 82-game schedule, with the season ending abruptly, Pasternak joined Ovechkin as the winner of the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy this year as well.

Like many 24-year-old’s in the NHL, Pasternak has continued to improve steadily each year and should continue to contend for Rocket Richard Trophy’s year after year.