Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 NHL Draft Retrospective

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1
2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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The 2014 NHL draft is what many point to as the turning point for the Toronto Maple Leafs rebuild. 

It was one year after the infamous blown 4-1 lead against the Boston Bruins in game seven of the first round. It also came just months after the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Brendan Shanahan was hired to be the team president and it seemed as though they were finally headed in the right direction.

Leading up to the draft, there seemed to be a consensus top-four emerging with Aaron Ekblad, Sam Reinhart, Leon Draisaitl, and Sam Bennett in different orders.

After that, it was a lot more wide open and the debate involving Toronto’s eighth overall pick was fierce.

Many felt going for bigger “good Canadian kid” powerforwards in Jake Virtanen or Nick Ritchie was the way to go.

Many felt that smaller European wingers Nikolaj Ehlers, Kasperi Kapanen, or William Nylander was the way to go.

In the draft, they held a pick in every round except the second, which was dealt in November 2013 in a trade with the Anaheim Ducks for prospect Peter Holland. 

Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 NHL Draft Retrospective