Toronto Maple Leafs 2015 NHL Draft Retrospective

2015 NHL Draft - Round One
2015 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Considering that this draft was the first real draft of the rebuild, it was largely a bust.

Similar to the drafts where the Leafs picked Morgan Rielly, William Nylander and Auston Matthews, this draft produced almost nothing after the first round.

Obviously the success of Mitch Marner masks it to some extent but outside of the first two rounds, only one player has played any NHL games and it was a whopping 45.

This was simply not a good enough return when you are trying to rebuild a team from the ground up and this lack of draft success played a major factor in the issues that have plagued the Leafs to this day. 

Had the Leafs scored on even a couple of players after Marner, the entire history of the franchise could have been altered for the better.

The biggest factor in this draft was the mistake of punting their second first-rounder. They started out with the 24th pick, but moved down to 29th to add Bracco, and then moved from 29th into the second round where they took Dermott and used the second pick on Dzierkels.

This move is pretty smart - you trade one longshot pick and end up moving down eight spots and you get two extra prospects - but when the guy you passed on turns out to be Travis Koknecy and you don't get anything with the three picks you have, it looks pretty bad.

But had they taken Sabastian Aho instead of Dermott (Aho picked one selection after) this would have looked like a genius move.

The Leafs consistently missed on players that would have helped them to supplement their young core. In the ten picks following Travis Dermott, players like; Sebastien Aho, Brandon Carlo, Mackenzie Blackwood, and Erik Cernak were selected.


Even one of these players could have greatly changed the outlook of the team and had they been able to capitalize on one or two more picks throughout this draft, it could have set the franchise up for a decade or more. Instead, the Leafs have one playoff round win in the past 19 years to show for it.