Although many of the Toronto Maple Leafs top prospects have graduated to the NHL, they still have a system with many talents waiting to have a chance to make a name for themselves
The Toronto Maple Leafs have had the likes of William Nylander, Andreas Johnsson, Justin Holl, Rasmus Sandin and many others move through the system to become very good players on the team.
Looking towards the 2020 Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have 10 picks to try and strike gold as they have previously with the likes of Sandin and NIck Robertson.
This mock scenario will look at which players the Toronto Maple Leafs might potentially select keeping in mind their philosophy and draft strategy of looking for the undervalued talent with high upside.
Second Round, 50th Overall: Blake Biondi, C, Hermantown Ind School Dist 700, Minnesota
Standing at 6’1 198lbs, Blake Biondi still, has some time to grow and become a major force in the league. He shoots right and can also play left wing if need be.
This is the type of player that Dubas envisions when he sends out his scouts, a highly offensive player with amazing puck skills and the ability to skate while being a competitor on the ice.
This is the makeup of Biondi as he strives his game off of playing 200 feet while not giving up on plays.
In 25 games in the Minnesota State High School League, Blake posted 76 points. He drives play and is always on the hunt for the puck. Has the potential to be a top-six forward. (All stats eliteprospects.com).
Fourth Round, 112th Overall: Donovan Sebrango, LHD, Kitchener Rangers, OHL
Currently trending upwards in the draft, Donovan Sebrango will not overpower you with his physical nature standing at 6’0 and 183lbs.
But that is not his game, he plays a simple game and uses his improved skating to help him trackback. He is that clam presence in the back that doesn’t overdo anything, just gets the job done.
Very good in defensive coverage and has the smarts to read plays and pick the right area to focus on. A work in progress and could be something special if developed correctly.
Has the potential to be a solid top-4 defenseman.
Fourth Round, 117th Overall: Michal Gut, C, Everett Silvertips, WHL
The Czech born centre is someone to keep your eyes on when the draft develops. The average-sized forward standing at 6’0 and 187lb centre has 36pts in 51 games played.
But, don’t be fooled by his point total, he is a goalscorer although his point total doesn’t show it. If he can become more clinical with his shot, he could be a potential steal of the draft.
He is a highly confident player that focuses on attacking and doesn’t put an emphasis on backchecking which could be his downfall and is the reason why he is being taken in the mid-rounds of the draft
If he can put his game together and focus on his defensive game while developing his offence, Gut could potentially become a top-nine forward.
Fifth Round, 148th Overall: James Hardie, LW, Mississauga Steelheads, OHL
This would be a typical Kyle Dubas pick for a forward. Small and undersized with great skating abilities and high offensive upside.
Hardie had 34 goals which put him in the top 20 in the OHL for goals. Great shooter and gets into the small places to get his shot off.
But, he is a work in progress and would definitely have another season in the OHL before having a shot with the Marlies.
His offence has upside but he lacks the defensive that would raise his stock. He will have to improve his defence if he wants tO make it to the NHL.
Knowing the Toronto Maple Leafs and Dubas’ draft strategy though, he will take the project and try to develop him into a top-nine forward.
Sixth Round, 175th Overall: Dyland Garand, G, Kamloops Blazers, WHL
Going along with the draft normalities of drafting goalies late due to there weird development patterns, the Toronto Maple Leafs select Dyland Garand.
The Toronto Maple Leafs already have great prospects in Ian Scott and Joseph Woll, but its never a bad idea to take a chance on a goalie in the draft when you don’t know how goalies are going to turn out.
Grand is on the smaller side standing at 6’0 172lbs, but don’t let his size fool you. He posted a .921 save percentage and 2.21 GAA . He has a lightning-quick glove and stays very calm when in pressure.
Sixth Round, 176th Overall: Ian Moore, RHD, St. Mark’s School
A great player coming out of the USHS prep program. Moore has the long, lanky body at 6’3 165lbs that once fully developed can be a force in the NHL.
The silky puck-moving defensemen is a player the Toronto Maple Leafs should take with this pick. He has size, can skate, and has great vision. He also is a right shot, which Leafsnation will love to see.
Sixth Round, 184th Overall: Emil Heineman, LW, Leklsand IF
Emil is an averaged sized winger who has offensive upside.
Has not shown a lot in means of points, but from the eye test, you can see that he does have tools that can be developed.
He can get his shot off in traffic and is a good passer. His biggest weakness is that he often gets lost when playing and you forget about him.
Seventh Round, 189th Overall: Eric Engstrand, LW, Gothenburg Frölunda HC
Now in the unknown regions of the draft the Toronto Maple Leafs can use their top scouts to try and pluck some talent.
Even though it is a crapshoot at this point, you can still look for late-round gems. The Leafs currently have guys like Johnsson and Engvall are known articles of late-round gems, so these aren’t picks just to let go of.
Although Eric is in his second year of eligibility, he has shown that he has improved from last season and looks like he could turn into a power forward.
He is a good skater but has to work out the smaller details in his game. Will drive straight towards the net and is not afraid of the dirty areas.
Seventh Round, 203rd Overall: Mitchell Smith, LHD, Saginaw Spirit, OHL
We have seen Kyle Dubas taken the youngest player in the draft before when he selected Nicholas Robertson in the 2019 NHL Draft and we all see how that turned out.
I’m not saying that Smith will turn into an A level prospect, but being the youngest in the draft he could be a player that can play on your bottom pairing one day.
Seventh Round, 216th Overall: Charlie Desroches, RHD, Saint John Sea Dogs, QMJHL
And with the second-last pick of the draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select Charlie Desroches.
The best way to describe him is just solid. Does nothing fancy, just makes the correct play. Undersized at 5’10 160lbs and still maturing.
Could be one the d-man that teams wish they took earlier in the draft but passed on him for lack of size and nothing special to his game.
Hopefully this guide comes in handy when the actual draft occurs, whenever that may be.