Toronto’s all-time draft workforce: Plan the parade with this Leafs lineup

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First, the disclaimer: as an Unique Six franchise that has been round for the reason that NHL was established in 1917, most of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ best-ever gamers arrived within the league earlier than the appearance of the draft in 1963.
So, you gained’t discover Leafs legends equivalent to (take a deep breath) Syl Apps, Charlie Conacher, Tim Horton, Ted Kennedy, Dave Keon, Borje Salming, King Clancy, Turk Broda, Busher Jackson, George Armstrong, Frank Mahovlich, Johnny Bower, Allan Stanley, Joe Primeau, Babe Dye, Bob Pulford, Goride Drillon, Carl Brewer, Jimmy Thomson, Norm Ullman, Hap Day, Crimson Kelly and plenty of others on Toronto’s all-time all-drafted workforce – for the straightforward purpose that they had been by no means drafted.
That’s to not say, although, that the Leafs haven’t landed some nice gamers on the draft. For all of Toronto’s well-documented woes – headlined by the franchise’s lack of ability to win a Stanley Cup since 1967 – the Maple Leafs have accomplished fairly effectively choosing and creating prospects, particularly at ahead. The workforce hasn’t gained a Cup in additional than 5 many years, however they’ve undoubtedly bought a championship contender of their all-time all-drafted workforce.
Let’s get into it.
It’s an old-school first line, with these ’70s stars Darryl Sittler and Lanny McDonald joined by fan-favorite Wendel Clark. A supremely proficient middle between two hardnosed wingers who had been premier goal-scorers. This trio may bag 50 objectives apiece…if Clark stays wholesome, after all.
The second line is extra present. Middle Auston Matthews and proper winger Mitch Marner don’t have the profession physique of labor as the opposite gamers on this roster, however there’s no denying their chic offensive ability. They get a 1970s-style help from trustworthy left winger John Anderson, who has spent a lot of the previous 30 years within the teaching ranks, so he’ll deal with the defensive duties for this unit.
Subsequent is the checking line, or at the very least what passes for one. Nazem Kadri is certainly an offense-first middle, however he’s proven a capability to crack down on opponents up to now. Plus, Kadri dishes out hits, each clear and soiled, and his usually gritty type befits an all-time third line. He skates between proper winger Rick Kehoe, a one-time 55-goal scorer, and Alex Steen, who can get red-hot and rating in bunches, however whose greatest asset is his two-way play.
Lastly, there’s nonetheless extra scoring on the fourth line, with Vincent Damphousse lining up between Russ Courtnall and Gary Leeman. Name it a tribute to the late ’80s.
The protection corps is respectable, however not overwhelming. (Sound acquainted?) The Leafs haven’t turned up any Bobby Orrs on the draft, however they’ve collected quite a few solid-to-stellar blueliners through the years. In the long run, we went with Ian Turnbull and Al Iafrate on the primary pair, a free-skating, big-shooting tandem that feels proper for this offensively inclined membership. Plus, Iafrate brings the ‘Wild Factor’ issue, which ought to assist hold issues energetic. The second pairing is Randy Carlyle and Morgan Rielly, a one-time Norris Trophy winner and a possible future Norris winner (in response to Leafs followers, anyway). Once more, this duo is best-suited when Toronto has the puck, however they know their manner across the defensive zone, too. The third pairing sees Tomas Kaberle and Craig Muni, one was nice with the puck and the opposite was nice with out it. OK, maybe “nice” is a stretch however it is a strong third pair. (A observe on Kaberle: he’s the one participant on this workforce who wasn’t drafted within the first or second spherical – he was taken within the eighth spherical, which not exists, at 204th total.)
As for the goaltending, there’s no simple technique to say it: Tuukka Rask is the most effective netminder the Leafs have ever drafted – actually, it’s not even shut – and, in hindsight, buying and selling him for Andrew Raycroft within the perception that Justin Pogge would finally take over the beginning job was, effectively, dangerous. Felix Potvin takes the backup job forward of Mike Palmateer and Ken Wregget. Powerful to go away Palmateer off this workforce, however Potvin had a greater profession.
There have been different tough choices in compiling the Leafs’ all-time all-drafted workforce. Listed below are different skaters, by place, who had been thought of. At middle: Doug Jarvis (24th, 1975), Yanic Perreault (47th, 1991), Walt McKechnie (sixth, 1963), Pat Boutette (139th, 1972) and George Ferguson (11th, 1972). Proper wing: William Nylander (eighth, 2014), Brad Boyes (24th, 2000), Nik Antropov (10th, 1998), Tie Domi (27th, 1988) and Stewart Gavin (74th, 1980). Left wing: Laurie Boschman (ninth, 1979), Frederik Modin (64th, 1994), Nikolay Kulemin (44th, 2006), Tiger Williams (31st, 1974), Errol Thompson (22nd, 1970), Alexei Ponikarovsky (87th, 1998), Gerry Meehan (21st, 1963) and Sergei Berezin (256th, 1994). Protection: Kenny Jonsson (12th, 1993), Joel Quenneville (21st, 1978), Anton Stralman (216th, 2005), Danil Markov (22rd, 1995), Luke Richardson (seventh, 1987) and Dmitri Mironov (160th, 1991).
Right here’s a take a look at Toronto’s all-time all-drafted workforce. The 20-player lineup relies on gamers’ whole NHL physique of labor.
CENTERSDarryl Sittler (eighth, 1970)Auston Matthews (1st, 2016)Nazem Kadri (seventh, 2009)Vincent Damphousse (sixth, 1986)
RIGHT WINGERSLanny McDonald (4th, 1973)Mitch Marner (4th, 2015)Rick Kehoe (22nd, 1971)Russ Courtnall (seventh, 1983)
LEFT WINGERSWendel Clark (1st, 1985)John Anderson (11th, 1977)Alex Steen (24th, 2002)Gary Leeman (24th, 1982)
DEFENSEMENAl Iafrate (4th, 1984)Ian Turnbull (15th, 1973)Randy Carlyle (30th, 1976)Morgan Rielly (fifth, 2012)Tomas Kaberle (204th, 1996)Craig Muni (25th, 1980)
GOALIESTuukka Rask (21st, 2005)Felix Potvin (31st, 1990)
Tags: toronto maple leafs, draft, nhl, nhl draftConnect: In regards to the AuthorSam McCaigCopy editor Sam McCaig rejoined The Hockey Information in 2017 after beforehand working at THN from 1999 to 2010. His profession excessive for objectives in a season is one.

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