23 Options For the Toronto Maple Leafs 2024 NHL Entry Draft - EJ Emery

The USA U18 Defenseman excites with a defensive game well beyond his years. What he lacks could make him truly great.
USNTDP Defenseman EJ Emery (#6)
USNTDP Defenseman EJ Emery (#6) / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Maple Leaf Likeliness

The Toronto Maple Leafs could use a tall, shutdown defender on the right side (and the left) and Emery would compliment an offensive-minded LD group.

That said, it's important to take the best player available because by the time anyone you draft in 2024 is ready to play in the NHL, your team will likely have an entirely different set of needs.

23 isn't a crazy place to take Emery if you're confident on his overall game translating, and if the expected run on defenseman early in the draft happens.

He's not typical of who the Leafs have drafted (in recent years they have looked to draft for talent while expecting to find players like Emery elsewhere) but Calgary had a ton of tall, skilled defensemen under Brad Treliving, which makes you wonder if he'd be someone to vouch for Emery's game.

If drafted, Emery probably becomes Toronto's 2nd best D prospect after Topi Niemela, with the chance of being #1 at some point next season depending on how Emery plays for UND.

If you like a mobile, hard worker who'll potentially make your zone a lot safer, you'll want someone like Emery in your lineup. (stats eliteprospects.com).

Even though Emery could go in a few different directions projection wise, there seems to be a lot of overall safety just from watching him, and it's hard to see a future in which Emery doesn't at the very least become a serviceable player who at the very least can calm down plays and keep pucks away from opponents, whether that be on the first, second, or third line.


EJ Emery will likely be an NHLer and teams may be willing to bet on what seems like at what looks to be a very safe bet with the hope of further potential.