Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Prospects to Target With 2nd Round Pick

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Kyle Dubas Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs talks on the phone as President Brendan Shanahan looks on during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB
SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Kyle Dubas Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs talks on the phone as President Brendan Shanahan looks on during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB /

The 2021 NHL draft will be held on July 23rd and 24th. The Toronto Maple Leafs currently do not own a pick in the first round, so they will need to wait until day two of the draft.

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded their first round pick for Nick Foligno back at the trade deadline.

Due to the pandemic, some hockey leagues did not play during the 2020-21 season, so some players have no current stats. Teams are forced to look at the previous season’s stats mixed with whatever the player’s current height and weight are.

The 2021 NHL draft will be a little more difficult for teams who might be selecting a player whom they haven’t seen play in over a year. That applies to prospects from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) which was shut down for the season.

There are normally a lot of prospects drafted out of the OHL, but with the OHL not playing this season it will be a surprise as to how many of their prospects get passed over for players from leagues who did play this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Are Proud To Select…

Evan Nause – LD

Evan Nause plays a very simple, yet effective two-way game. The 6’2, 185Lbs defenseman has incredible vision, and never seems to panic.

When facing pressure in his own end, he will turn back to protect the puck, rather than being forced to turn the puck over.

A good reason why the Toronto Maple Leafs should select Nause is that he fits into their style of play. He is good at making a quick first pass to exit the defensive zone but is also good at making long stretch passes to open forwards.

Even more importantly, he plays very well in his own end.  He plays well when defending against the rush, and is very good in one-on-one situations.

Whether he’s in the corners battling for pucks, or in front of the net boxing out the opposition, Nause uses his size to his advantage.

He also has a decent wrist shot, but it is something he will need to keep working on. Nause would be best used as a shutdown defenseman with some extra time on the penalty kill.

Cole Huckins – C

Cole Huckins has all the makings of a good power forward. He is a 6’3, 201Lbs playmaker who plays with a bit of an edge. He uses his size and strength to win puck battles and protect the puck.

His vision and playmaking ability make him a very good passer. He plays a lot like a younger Joe Thornton. He might not have the speed to get to the puck first but uses his size and grit to fight for pucks.

As good as he is at playing center, he showed his true power forward strengths while playing on the wing this season. His size mixed with his grit, and playmaking skills are why I think Huckins would be a perfect pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nolan Allan – LD

Nolan Allan is a good defensive defenseman who plays very well in his own end. The 6’2, 194Lbs Saskatchewan native can read plays well and is good at making sure he is in the right position.

He does not offer much offensively but is willing to join the rush when he feels it is safe to do so. Allan may not put up many points, but he does a fine job of making sure the other team doesn’t put up many points either.

Allan would benefit the most from playing with a defense partner who is more offensively gifted, which would allow him to hang back and be the stay-at-home defenseman that he is. His NHL comparable is David Savard.

Final Thoughts On These Possible Toronto Maple Leafs Picks

I think either of these three prospects would make a great addition to the team sometime in the future, It will likely be two to three years before any of these players mentioned are playing in the NHL. They all have things to work on to improve their game, so they’ll need time to further their development.

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Out of these three prospects, I would love to see Toronto select Cole Huckins the most. He will bring the team a true power forward with size, grit, and scoring ability.