Toronto Maple Leafs 2016 NHL Entry Draft Retrospective

2016 NHL Draft - Round One
2016 NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Eighth Pick

In what ended up being a draft filled with overage players for the club, the Leafs took their third in Russian winger Vladimir Bobylyov at 122nd overall. He spent the previous two seasons playing in the WHL and after a poor draft year showing of nine points in 52 games, he exploded for 67 in 72. 

Despite his relatively mediocre production, he had interesting tools at 6-2 and 200lbs along with solid skating and a powerful shot, there was a decent framework to build from. He spent the next season back with Victoria Royals but ended up going back to Russia midway through the year to join Spartak Moscow of the KHL. 

Since then he has lived the life as a journeyman player bouncing between different organizations in Russia. He has spent the majority of his career in the second-tier VHL as a secondary offensive option for various clubs.

Ninth Pick

The next pick at 152nd overall was another overager and teammate of Bobylyov, Jack Walker. He had started his junior career as a defender before transitioning to forward and was passed over twice before the Leafs selected him.

One skill that made Walker intriguing was his skating and speed, which he coupled with his puck-skills to generate offense producing 36 goals and 84 points in 72 games that season.

He was seen as a late bloomer who after taking time switching positions was able to come into his own. The next season would see some regression in production scoring only 72 points in 70 games.

That summer, he would sign an AHL contract with the Iowa Wild where he mainly played with their ECHL affiliate the Rapid City Rush. He would spend the next few seasons bouncing between the ECHL with various teams as well as Denmark’s Metal Ligaen. Since then, he has bounced between various European leagues, most recently in France’s Ligue Magnus.