Apparently, Leafs General Manager John Fergusen Jr has been secretly talking to young Oshawa Generals forward, and future number 1 pick, John Tavares about maybe going pro, and signing a contract to play for the Toronto Marlies of the AHL next season. Is this their last resort at trying to end their 40+ year Stanley Cup drought without having to rebuild like most normal teams? They have to go out and give a huge "screw you" to the rest of the league and the league's drafting regulations? They are taking advantage of a young kid who wants to go pro, but can't because he is 5 days older than the cutoff day for the draft. The Leafs organization is really going to push some wrong buttons if they follow through with this, not to mention make a complete mockery of the drafting system, and may very well damage it for years to come. Who's to say the next time another Sidney Crosby comes along, the Habs can't go out and buy him before the draft? That is the precedent the Leafs will set whether you like it or not.
The Major League Baseball draft is a joke because of this as well. Star up and coming players completely disregard what team they are drafted by, and demand so much money that the only teams that can afford them are the already good teams, and the bad teams never get better (see the Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League, and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the American League). It's gotten to the point that teams completely skip a player because they know that he won't sign, and they would rather try to find a diamond in the rough who will actually sign with them. Is this how you want to see the drafts of the NHL's future go? If John Tavares signs a pro contract with the Leafs before he is draft eligible, it will ruin the draft permanently and it will threaten the parity of the teams in the league for years to come. The draft will become just as much of a joke as the MLB draft is if the NHL doesn't step in and stop this unfortunate situation.