Now that the New York Rangers have advanced to the Eastern Conference Final, the Toronto Maple Leafs hold the 25th overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft.
The Toronto Maple Leafs were holding onto the 27th overall pick before game seven between the Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes.
Depending on who won that game seven, Toronto would end up with either the 26th overall pick or the 25th overall pick. With the Rangers winning, Toronto moves up two spots in the 2022 NHL draft. Moving up two spaces might not seem like much, but it holds more value.
If Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas decides to trade the pick, having it be the 25th overall is more valuable than the 27th overall. There is no telling if Dubas plans on trading it, but he will likely keep his options open.
Moving up in the first round also gives the Leafs a better chance at drafting the player they want. Dubas can also use the pick to trade down and acquire additional picks. That is something Dubas has not been afraid to do in the past. If Dubas decides to keep it, he will have plenty of good junior players to choose with it.
A Few Players the Toronto Maple Leafs Could Draft 25th Overall
The Leafs did not have a first round pick last season as they traded it away for Nick Foligno. They had to wait until pick 57 to draft Matthew Knies, so they might want to hold on to their 25th overall selection.
Lian Bichsel – LD
Lian Bichsel is a left shot defenseman from Wolfwil, Switzerland. The 18-year-old brings a ton of size at 6’5″ and 225 pounds. Bichsel is a smooth-skating defensive defenseman. His offensive abilities could use some more work, but don’t expect a lot of points from him.
(All Stats from eliteprospects.com)
Owen Beck – C
Owen Beck is a right-shooting centre from Port Hope, Ontario, Canada. He is a two-way centre with plenty of offensive abilities. With the proper development, Beck should be able to become a top-six forward in the NHL. Last season Beck recorded 21 goals and 30 assists for 51 points in 68 games for the Mississauga Steelheads of the OHL.
Isaac Howard – LW
Isaac Howard is a left-shooting left-winger from Hudson, Wisconsin, USA. He is very offensively gifted and has a quick release. At 5’10” and 183 pounds, Howard will need to bulk up but possesses top-six forward skills. He recorded 33 goals and 49 assists for 82 points in 60 games with U.S. National under 18 team last season. Howard also recorded 11 goals and 26 assists for 37 points in 11 games in the USHL.
Owen Pickering – LD
Owen Pickering is left shooting defenseman from St. Adolphe, Manitoba, Canada. Just like Lian Bichsel, Pickering offers a lot of size at 6’5″ and 179 pounds. He has good mobility for a player his size and is offensively gifted. Pickering recorded nine goals and 24 assists for 33 points in 62 games for the Swift Current Broncos of the WHL.
Tristan Luneau – RD
Tristan Luneau is a right shooting defenseman from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Canada. He possesses good mobility, great instincts, and good size (6’2″ – 174 Lbs). Luneau is good at creating plays and controlling play. He has the potential to be a top-four defenseman at the NHL level. His offensive abilities can not be overlooked either. He recorded 12 goals and 31 assists for 43 points in 63 games last season for the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL.
I think that any of these players would be a welcomed addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise. We will see if Toronto GM Kyle Dubas decides to keep the 25 overall selection or trade it away. The first round of the 2022 NHL draft will be on Thursday, July 7th, 2022. Dubas has until then to decide what he wants to do with the pick.