Theory - Leafs need to move up!

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by simmmons27, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. simmmons27

    simmmons27 Registered User

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    I have a theory…it seems to me this is the year the Leafs need to move up in the draft, possibly at all costs. They are undeniably a franchise in transition, yet with little encouraging hope for future ahead. Their draft record of late is looking up (Steen, Rask etc.), but they have not had a player of note come from the draft since Wendel. Historically, in the last decade, when the team has managed to hang on to their picks, they’ve yielded quality like Jeff Ware, Eric Fichaud and dear Nik Antropov. Continually finishing at the top of the non-playoff teams, or losing out in the first two rounds of the playoffs, has doomed this team to mid-first round picks and a destiny of never picking an impact player.

    Steen seems a solid building block, if not a potential year-after-year All Star. So, here’s what I propose, no, insist the Leafs commit to doing this year…move way high up in the draft. Regardless of its preached-about weaknesses (when has a draft year not been complained about…1996 withstanding, there’s one that deserves bashing), this year boasts as many as 5 potential franchise corner-stones, players that have legitimate talent to build a team around. As I see it the Leafs options are:
    (1) Conservatism: stand pat at 13, take the best player available and hope they turn out more Martin Havlat than Luca Cereda. End up with the likes of Stewart, Sanguinetti or Wishart and feel comfortable that you have a serviceable player if all goes right.
    (2) Proactive thinking: Throw in whatever it takes to swap 13 with something in the top 5-8. Take a player the likes of Staal, Toews, Backstrom or Kessel who will play with, then replace, Sundin and be equated with the Maple Leafs for their career.

    There are interesting wildcards, however. Firstly, the possibility of any of Little, T****sy or Frolik being available at 13 (though remote) would make the proactive route less necessary. Keep in mind Joe Sakic was a 14th overall pick himself. Franchise-building material is not necessarily found exclusively in the 1-5 picks. Secondly, there is the slight issue of “throwing in whatever it takesâ€. If inter-conference swaps are not too likely, it seems Chicago at 3 or Columbus at 6 are targets…it’s just a matter of what do the Leafs have to offer these clubs.

    The move up does seem possible, however. As I see it, the Leafs destiny is to pick 13-20 ad infinitum, never finding a blue-chip franchise corner-stone, the likes of which they haven’t seen since Frank Mahovolich. Make the move this year, and those 13-20 picks will have a leader and someone to work with.
     
  2. mercury

    mercury Registered User

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    "possibly at all costs" sounds a little drastic, doesn't it?
     
  3. N Bahn Ahden

    N Bahn Ahden Registered User

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    I don't think the Leafs have much to offer that won't jeopordize the future. Most of the veterans wouldn't be attractive to a team like Columbus, so that means picks, prospects, or young players. I think that the Leafs should stay at 13 and take the BPA, save their picks and stockpile some talent. Right now they are too thin too give up much to move up.
     
  4. simmmons27

    simmmons27 Registered User

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    agreed, but in the leafs world i can't imagine this amounting to much. they are, and almost always have been, a team limited tradeable resources.
     
  5. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    The Leafs have a surplus of young defencemen that they can use to trade up. JFJ has already stated that other teams are contacting him about some of them so one or two may be used to trade up in the draft.
     
  6. simmmons27

    simmmons27 Registered User

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    Any thoughts as to what it would take to pry away Phoenix's #8, for example?
     
  7. Blind Gardien

    Blind Gardien nexus of the crisis

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    I just wonder at the cost for the Leafs to do this, vis-a-vis the presumed plan of building longterm with youth. Given that the Leafs don't have all that many enticing tradeable assets, it probably means you're looking at throwing in a Stajan or... ??? Pogge or Rask...??? or....??? Steen? To move up? Doesn't it potentially partially defeat the purpose?

    I know it may sound too much like a traditional-Leafs-mentality, but perhaps a franchise type player is much more easily identified and targeted on the free agent market than via the draft. With the UFA age going down, presumably there will one day be an under-30 version of a Sundin available to the highest bidder. And the Leafs probably won't be saddled with too much payroll overhead over the next couple years (and beyond when Sundin's contract finishes) so they will certainly be able to play in this market. Elias may be the best of the lot this year, but there ought to be others continuing to come along.

    Perhaps keeping your Stajan/Steen/Pogge/Rask non-franchise-player component, plus drafting at 13 and hoping you get more of a Havlat than a Cereda (and really, odds are pretty good you will this draft, and odds of a Frolik/Tlusty/Sheppard/Stewart really aren't bad either)... and playing for the franchise player on the UFA market is not going to be such a bad move? After all, top-5 picks can fail to be franchise players too. (Scott Thornton, anyone?)

    I would at least think it's a far cry from a "possibly at all costs" situation. :dunno:
     
  8. simmmons27

    simmmons27 Registered User

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    Nice reply, makes a lot of sense. Plus you let Frolik slip to the Leafs in your mock draft. I like you.
     
  9. badrobot101

    badrobot101 Registered User

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    I think the Leafs could move up to #5 if they were dangling Darcy Tucker. If they threw in a blueliner, they could also hang on to their #13 pick.

    I would trade Tucks and Staffan Kronwall for a top five pick in a heartbeat. Tucker's market value is as high as it will ever be, he has one year left on his deal and is currently underpaid.

    Boston might not pull that trigger, but I think somebody else would. Does JFJ have the cojones to move up, without jeopardizing the future?

    (No, I don't think he does. We'll be staying at #13.)
     
  10. simmmons27

    simmmons27 Registered User

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    Trouble is no one else would. To move up it'll take the right team to deal with, likely one with weak goaltending depth, meaning Pogge or Rask draw attention.
    On that note, how does swapping Pogge for Tampa's #15 sound (or #16, can't remember). Gives TB a better keeper than what's available and allows the Leafs to pick up Wishart/Williams/Sanguietti to complement the scoring forward they seem likely to get at #13.
     
  11. Pepper

    Pepper Registered User

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    What Leafs need to do is to continue solid drafting and to STOP trading their prospects for old players (Leetch).

    They also need to stop handing out stupid contracts (Belfour).

    there's no magic fix for the Leafs, they need to be smart and have patience.

    Can JFJ do those? Personally I suspect he's not good enough as GM but we'll see.
     
  12. mooseOAK*

    mooseOAK* Guest

    Ferguson had the chance to add more older players during the last free agency period but wouldn't give out long term deals to 30+ year olds. They are going with youth now.
     
  13. Transplanted Caper

    Transplanted Caper Registered User

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    Agreed 100%.
     
  14. boredmale

    boredmale Registered User

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    Wouldn't it be counter productive to move into the top 10 and get a player whose potential is just slightly better then the guy they get at 13th while giving away some of the future(ie prospects or other draft picks).

    Leafs are in a nice position that some guys will probably drop to when they draft, can't see them being players.
     
  15. mercury

    mercury Registered User

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    Rightly, IMHO. They have some good young players, and it's about time they start to build. I hate the Leafs, but it will be much harder to hate them after drafting better, and not being a team full of fragile, over-the-hill vets.
     
  16. badrobot101

    badrobot101 Registered User

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    Sanguinetti won't be available at #15. And the jury is out on Wishart and Williams; the scouts aren't high on them.

    Anyway, the Leafs have lots of depth on defence. They should keep the young goalies they have until they know which one (if either) they will be able to rely on in future.
     
  17. BuppY

    BuppY xGoodwillx

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    Leafs need Bryan Little.
     
  18. dunwoody_joe

    dunwoody_joe Registered User

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    To get Little, the Leafs need to at least jump ahead of Atlanta.
     
  19. loadie

    loadie Official Beer Taster Sponsor

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    The Leafs should stay where they are IMO. The cost of moving into the top 5 will undo some decent drafting in recent years. To move into the top 5, I would imagine you can start with Steen and go from there. A little too pricey for a team slowly headed into the right direction in player development.
     
  20. Draftman

    Draftman Registered User

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    The fair value in draft picks, would cost Toronto its first (13 overall) round and second (42 overall) round picks. Toronto should also get Phoenix's third round or fourth pick but they have already traded them away. So they would need to include a med-level prospect to make it even.
     
  21. Oedi

    Oedi Registered User

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    Robbie Earl? or one of our defencemen?
     
  22. Fozz

    Fozz Registered User

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    One of the problems in a team like Toronto moving up is competition from other teams that will want to do the same thing and that probably have much more to offer.

    Here's what I read so far:
    Tucker? - NO ONE will give a top-5 pick for a 31 year old.
    Young Dmen? - Leafs have quantity but not much quality in their d-man prospects
    Pogge for Tampa's #15? - Why would Pogge be better than Bernier or Helenius? It's much to early to tell and besides, I think Pogge is overrated. However, one of the Leafs' young goalie is the team's best trade bait.
     
  23. SOLR

    SOLR Registered User

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    Tampa doesnt want a goalie prospect they want a win-now goalie.
     

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