It has been a quiet weekend so far for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Other than being unable to come to a deal for a sign and trade with the Oilers for Zach Hyman, the Toronto Maple Leafs haven’t done anything of note, as they had no first round pick to use last night.
While the NHL went trade-crazy, the Leafs sat the day out.
This afternoon they used the first pick of their draft, a second rounder, #57, to select Matthew Knies.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Matthew Knies
Matthew Knies, who I am reasonably certain would be only the second NHL player to be born in Arizona to make the NHL, is a 6’3 left winger from the USHL’s Tri City Storm.
NHL Central Scouting had Knies at 37th.
I have no real opinion here about this player because the first time I heard his name was about ten minutes ago. I suppose that Power Forward is pretty much the rarest animal in the NHL forest, so I’m happy if the Leafs turn out to have drafted one.
Byron Bader (see above) seems pretty high on him, and he’s actually pretty high on the Leafs farm system as a whole. If you want to get some really good prospect info, follow Byron on Twitter.
Here is a scouting report on Knies from Smaht Scouting (ran by former EIL writer Josh Tessler).
Interesting to learn here that Knies is actually a Slovakian, and that his parents moved to Arizona just before he was born.
Overall, the Leafs seem to have scored a player with the talent to be top line NHL player, and like all players with that ability who get drafted below the top ten, a low shot of actually hitting his potential.
As usual, the Kyle Dubas led Toronto Maple Leafs go for a highly skilled player, and do not draft for position – they just take who they think is the best available. This pick will likely go over well just because for once this player happens to have size, and everyone likes that.
The Leafs now have a nice little collection of highly skilled forwards who should compliment their superstar core for years to come. Rodion Amirov, Nick Robertson and now Matthew Knies are all similar in that, while they may not be sure things to make it, they all have that upper-limit potential.
For the Leafs, finding their version of Duncan Keith, Kris Letan, Braydon Point or Sebastion Aho is absolutely key to them making the most of the gifts that are Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.