The Toronto Maple Leafs headed into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft with Kyle Dubas taking on full duties as the general manager for the organization.
Dubas had taken over after Toronto Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan decided to go with the young fresh mind over the veteran Lou Lam Lamoriello.
I think it’s safe to say that Dubas did a great job as the Leafs GM. Though the team obviously never won anything under his leadership, and ultimately only won a single round in the playoffs, the team did have the longest period of prolonged success since the NHL expanded in 1967.
Beyond that, the Leafs have been a top Cup Contender for years, and currently have the NHL’s longest active playoff streak, after the Penguins missed last year.
In addition, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had several of their best regular seasons ever, won a division title, and are the 3rd best team, having won over 65% of the points available to them, over the last three years.
This is all great stuff, but as you can see from the polarized takes about Dubas’ time as GM, winning the Stanley Cup is pretty much all anyone cares about.
As for drafting, it is nearly unbelievable how many draft picks the Toronto Maple Leafs wasted from 2015 to 2017. In part due to how bad those drafts went, the Leafs started to draft for hockey IQ and skill in 2018 once Dubas took over.
It’s hard to say how that approach worked because the team constantly traded their top picks in this period. Additionally, they drafted low, and not much time has passed.
However, if we count 2018 as the start of the Dubas Drafting Era, then things at least start out well. This draft went very well for the Leafs, even if they didn’t end up landing a franchise altering superstar.