Drafting the Current Toronto Maple Leafs Roster In Their Prime

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs watches the action late in the game against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 13: Head coach Sheldon Keefe of the Toronto Maple Leafs watches the action late in the game against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on April 13, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Flames defeated the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs – Jake Muzzin (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Eighth Overall Pick – Jake Muzzin

The eighth overall pick is the second defenseman to be drafted. Jake Muzzin was originally brought into the NHL when the Los Angeles Kings selected his rights in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Muzzin went in the fifth round 141st overall, well below his newest teammate Riley Nash who the Edmonton Oilers drafted 21st overall that year.

The six-foot-three defenseman from Woodstock, Ontario is the first player in our Leafs’ draft to have captured the ultimate prize, the Stanley Cup. He was a member of the 2013-14 Kings group that won the title. Muzzin was an essential part of that victory. The only skater on the club who played more minutes than he did was his fellow defenseman, Drew Doughty. Muzzin even had six goals and six assists in that playoff run. It’s more than Matthews has ever had in either single playoffs. To be fair, it took Muzzin 26 games to collect those points and Matthews has never played more than seven.

Muzzin continues to be an imposing figure on the ice. He’s not afraid to get physical and lay the body on opponents. Now playing in his tenth year in the NHL, Muzzin is still able to break up opponents’ plays and turn the puck around.

It’s difficult to pinpoint Muzzin’s best year because he is able to do so many different things on the ice. He was however considered for the James Norris Memorial Trophy on two occasions. He received votes for the prize in both 2015-16 and the year he was traded to the Maple Leafs, 2018-19.

The Leafs gave up their 2019 first-round draft pick which was used to draft defender Tobias Bjornfot with the 22nd pick overall. Toronto also sent forward Carl Grundstrom and the rights to defenseman Sean Durzi in the deal. Clearly, it was an excellent transaction for the Leafs.