Top 5 Toronto Maple Leafs Draft Lottery Selections of All-Time

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Auston Matthews poses for a portrait after being selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in round one during the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 03: Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 03: Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

#2. Morgan Rielly

2012 NHL Entry Draft: 5th Overall

If it wasn’t for Morgan Rielly the past few seasons, the Toronto Maple Leafs defense may have been the worst in the NHL, and that was seen while he was injured this year.

Rielly is a stud on the blue-line and the ability to steal him with the number-five pick is one of the best moves Brian Burke ever made.

The Leafs actually had an 8.1 percent chance at the number-one overall pick, but it was more likely they would finish with the fifth overall pick, like what ultimately happened.

Although the Leafs finished with the fifth overall pick, Brian Burke has always said that even if the team finished with the first-overall pick, they were going to select Morgan Rielly.

This is all hindsight and Burke never said it in the moment, so you have to take that comment with a grain of salt, but if it’s true, that’s exceptional vision. It felt like every terrible NHL team during the 2011-12 season had a “Fail for Nail” sign hanging up near the end of the season, as each fan-based hoped they would select Nail Yakupov.

Yakupov was always looked to be the first-overall pick, so although Burke said he would’ve selected Rielly anyway, it’s a blessing that the team had the fifth overall pick and Rielly was waiting for them there.

Only 26-years-old, Rielly will be a huge factor as the Leafs get ready for the playoffs, because his play will most likely determine how far the Leafs advance in the post-season this summer.