23 Options for the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2024 NHL Entry Draft - Cole Hutson

How funny would this one be, right?
NTDP defenseman Cole Hutson (#23) at the All-American Game
NTDP defenseman Cole Hutson (#23) at the All-American Game / Michael Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
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Toronto Maple Leafs Likeliness

He's probably more likely to be drafted by the Leafs if they trade a bit down from 23, such as in 2022 when Toronto traded 25 to 38 in the Mrazek draft deal that ended in the Leafs taking Fraser Minten.

23rd feels a little rich, especially since he's not as explosiveness or dominating as Lane was. Hutson is a good player, but he feels squarely like a second rounder.

Maybe if the Leafs went a bit deeper and that pick was closer to the second it'd be fine, but there will likely be better options.

In terms of likeliness the front office and scouting team likes him. The Leafs don't really draft smaller defenseman.

The last defender under 6ft drafted by Toronto was John Fusco in the 7th round of the 2020 draft. They may draft small at times at forward, almost never on the blueline.

Every player this season who played on D for the Leafs was over 6'0. They don't go small, so in the case of Hutson, they'd really have to like him. In the first round, I'm not so sure, but he's talented and it doesn't seem entirely out of the realm of possibility he goes round one, but more likely it's another team later on that pulls the trigger rather than Toronto.

Montreal does have a second pick after Toronto at 26th overall. LHD isn't a big need for the Canadiens but you do have to wonder.

If he's drafted, he's off to Boston University, where Hutson developed further into a superstar. If you look at Lane and see the positive steps he took, it's not a crazy thought to hope for the same in Cole. Don't see him at the top of Toronto's list, but i'd imagine there's a slim possibility.