23 Options for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2024 NHL Draft - Adam Jiricek

The Czech Defenseman is still seen as a top draft prospect despite an injury upending his season
Adam Jiricek vs Canada - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship
Adam Jiricek vs Canada - 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages
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Toronto Maple Leafs Likeliness

There's a more likely than not chance that Jiricek is gone by the Leafs pick at 23, but given his injury concerns, there is the potential of him slipping a bit if teams feel uncertain about his status. Even with that, it does seem a bit unlikely he'll fall to Toronto's lap, but there is a slim possibility.

As for if he'd be the pick for Toronto, I think there's a strong likeliness. It's hard to imagine many defensemen who have the same upside being available at Toronto's lap 23rd overall, and Jiricek is the closest thing to a top-four D with the potential to be available outside of the lottery.

The fear is his smaller size and average play in Czechia. He doesn't look to have the same upside of his brother at the same age, or even now. Columbus is doing good in not rushing David just yet, any team that drafts Adam must be prepared to do the same, and they surely will.

He'd likely still be Toronto's most promising defenseman, but again, it depends on if he's there. Toronto might want to get a safer, more productive option, but at the same time may be intrigued by the promise Jiricek has shown at his best. If he's available at 23, it's an interesting question, one I myself are not entirely sure if the reward supercedes the risk. It'll take internal conversations with Plzen staff and scouts I don't have.

If the Toronto Maple Leafs take Adam Jiricek, it's because they trust the word of the people they're speaking to that he's not only ready to play, but still a player worth taking highly.