This draft weekend was pretty much the only positive that Leaf fans could take away from the '07-'08 campaign. A disastrous season swept in the winds of change, and miracle of miracles: a high draft position. I will provide some thoughts and scouting reports, along with a "perfect-world projection".
Notice to Internet Explorer Users
Let's take a look the picks made, and some thoughts on each player:
Round 1 - 5th overall - D Luke Schenn
- The Leafs targeted their man, and traded up to get him, in a fantasically bold move.
- Schenn is a large-bodied, seek-and-destroy shutdown defender in the mold of Scott Stevens
- Mckeen's Prospect Rankings editor called Schenn the "best defensive defenseman to come from the draft in maybe two decade"
- Schenn also possesses very underrated offensive abilities, as most people are inclined to think of him simply as a stay-at-home defender
- One scout noted "Schenn moves the puck with the kind of robotic composure most junior forwards won't see until they reach the pro ranks"
- He's drawn comparisons to Nashville's Shea Weber offensively
In a perfect world, he becomes: An elite shutdown defender capable of contributing 30-35 points and perennial all-star
Round 2 - 60th overall - F Jimmy Hayes
- Big-time boom or bust pick right here
- Huge frame, and very strong physically
- Power forward potential, with a mean streak and soft hands
- Was once heralded as a top 10 pick, before suffering through a very inconsistent and disappointing season. Scouts even said that he was already better than Philly prospect James Van Riemsdyk
- Despite his size and skillset, he appeared invisible at times last season, leading some scouts to believe he was simply a man playing amongst boys and that he would struggle at higher levels
In a perfect world, he becomes: A brusing power forward, capable of potting 30+ goals, though he could just as likely never make it past the NCAA
Round 4 - 98th overall - F Mikhail Stefanovich
- An absolute steal at this point in the draft
- A top 15 talent in the draft, but fell due to concerns regarding work ethic and coachability
- A dynamic scoring winger, with a great shot, smooth skating, and large frame
- Can be lazy, and disinterested in the defensive side of the game
- Has drawn comparisons to Columbus' Nikolai Zherdev or Nashville's Alexander Radulov
- Yet another high risk-reward pick for the Leafs
In a perfect world, he comes: A dynamic 1st line forward and PPG sniper, though only if someone can successfully light a fire under him.
There is an issue with the form blow that will make it appear that nothing happens when you click the post message button below. To see your message, after you click the post message button, refresh this page. Sorry for the troubles, we hope to have it fixed soon.