Now first I would like to point out that this is an opinion so Burke, Kessel, Leaf Haters say what you will but I do believe Toronto has a good team. Good not great by any means. So after yet another season no playoffs lets look at the good.
Forwards: Kessel, Lupul, Bozak, Grabvoski, McArthur, Kulemin proved they should stick and have formed a core for top 9. Steckel, Crabb, Brown Boyce are serviceable. Connolly, Lombardi although severiceable have way not worth their respective price tags.
Defense: Gardiner and Phaneuf are our top two and well worth it I believe. Schen was misplayed, he is a shot blocker and hitter not a passer. He was good with Kaberle, so stick him with Liles. That leaves our bottom pair which should be Gunnarson and Franson, having Holzer be available for any faltering. This could be a strong unit with proper tutelage from Carlyle.
Goaltending" Potential, but way too young to succeed.
So to show our lines and needs:
Forwards: Kessel - ? - Lupul
McArthur - Grabovski - ?
Crabb - Steckel - Connolly/Kulemin
Bozak, will fit where most serviceable. Kadri, Colborne, and Fratting need their chance
Defence: Phaneuf - Gardiner
Schenn - Liles
Gunnarsson - Franson
Extra - Holzer
Our biggest need is a goaltender, I say sign either Schneider or Harding, and find a veteran netminder for tutelage. Let spring training determine our goaltending. Harding or Schneider are both much farther along for potential starters than Reimer.
Second need is a top line center, but there are serviceable options.
Now the blessing, we will not get the top pick which is fine we don't need a top scoring winger, we need a leader/puck mover preferably a center. Now there was a blog saying 2-7 draft pick are very similar, here's our blessing we will draft most likely between 3-5. Columbus based on need will take Yakupov, Oilers will go for a defenseman maybe Murray?, That leaves Grigorenko, Galchenyuk, and Forsberg for 3-5, all good options for a top 6 for the Leafs. This will finally give us the one top draft pick we've been missing.
Now be patient, we are a young team and challenges and collapses are expected, so our last need is a veteran forward like Madden, someone to teach the youngsters the ropes. Secondly we need Kadri to play a full season, give the guy a chance it is time to see if he can blossom his offensive instincts. The team is there but there are four crucial needs, one will be met.
1. A top 5 draft pick - Met
3. Veteran Forward
4. Top Line Center (already have serviceable options.)