Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 NHL Draft Retrospective

2014 NHL Draft - Round 1
2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
3 of 5

Second Pick

Next, the Leafs did not pick until the third round at 68th overall because they did not have a second. Here the Leafs chose left-handed defenseman Rinat Valiev from the WHL’s Kootenay Ice.

Valiev, born in Nizhnekamsk, Russian was listed at 6-1 196lbs and was an overager who was eligible to be selected in 2013.

Even in 2014, the Valiev selection raised eyebrows and it does not look much better in hindsight. Although he showed some promise with adept skating abilities and sound defensive game, he had limited potential from the get-go scoring only 28 points in 55 games in his DY+1.

As such, he played only 12 NHL games with the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. At 29, He is currently playing in Kazhakstan after bouncing between Russia’s first and second tier KHL and VHL the last few seasons.

Third Pick

In the fourth round, at 103rd overall, the Leafs opted to swing for potential selecting USHL-standout JJ Piccinich.

In his draft year, he ranked third in scoring league-wide and was going to join the Boston College Terriers to play with Jack Eichel the following season.

Unfortunately, things did not pan out there and he left to join the London Knights of the OHL the year after to finish out his junior eligibility. 

After turning pro he played primarily in the ECHL until 2021 when he went to the United Kingdom to play in the EIHL with the Belfast Giants before spending the past two season in Norway. However, he is slated to rejoin the Giants next season.