I wrote another blog where I talked about how I could see Brian Burke pulling off some big deals to make Toronto into a legitimate playoff team. Another way I could see Toronto’s offseason going, one that would take more patience, is to trade up in the NHL draft to acquire some star power. We know Burke likes those big deals and isn’t afraid to go after some players he likes in a draft (see Sedins in Vancouver). The deals I would love to see Burke do is to acquire the 1st and 2nd overall picks from Edm and Clb, respectively, to draft team mates Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. Now I realize this will take quite the deals, but I feel the Leafs have built up enough young talent to trade to these two rebuilding teams.
First, to acquire the 1st overall pick from Edmonton. The consensus number one is Yakupov who is a right winger. Now there is nothing wrong with having lots of forward starpower and in the next couple seasons, Yakupov will be content to be 2nd line RW behind Eberle, but eventually, when they are both superstars, there will be questions of how ice time is to be split between them. Those two, along with RNH and Hall will all be signing deals of I’m guessing 6 mil a piece. They need to spread some of that salary with their defense and goaltending. Although possessing lots of defensive prospects, most of them are not options for another 2-3 years, and the Oilers could benefit from the glut of young ‘D’ the Leafs have at their disposal. I could see the following deal being something that works for both teams.
The 1st overall pick dealt for the 5th overall, Cody Franson and Luke Schenn. With this Toronto receives the 1st and Edmonton receives 2 d-man with top 4 potential, as well as the 5th which could be used to select a highly touted d-man such as Reilly or Reinhart, who have the potential to be a top pairing.
To get the 2nd overall, Clb needs just about everything. Luckily the Leafs have built up quite a bit of prospect depth to get the pick. I would suggest this deal as it provides Clb with a lot more depth at every position.
The 2nd overall pick dealt for Kadri, Colbourne, Ashton, Blacker, Reimer, and Lombardi. This basically cleans the out the prospect pool for the Leafs and gives Clb a whole bunch of quality, yet unproven prospects along with Reimer who might be able to fix the goaltending situation in Clb. There is a measure of risk for both sides as all those prospects might not pan out to be impact NHLers or maybe the 2nd overall turns out to be only a pretty good player and not a star. I see Kadri, Colbourne and Ashton turning into 2nd liners and Blacker perhaps being a solid top 4 puck moving defensemen. Reimer also has the potential to be that number 1 needed in Clb. Lombardi was thrown in for cap relief and only has one year left on his contract. Before Leafs fans murder me regarding the Leafs goaltending problem, I would trade for Luongo before these deals. A fair trade in my opinion would be Luongo for Armstrong, Ross and the Leafs’ 2012 2nd (35th overall). With room on defense and having Jake Gardiner, I think it would be possible to convince Justin Shultz to come to Toronto. I believe Galchenyuk will stay in junior one more year and then jump up for a year playing big minutes in the AHL, then taking over the number 1 center position the next year. Until then, Bozak will have to do, as he seems to have good chemistry with Lupul and Kessel. This would leave the Leafs roster in 2012-2013 looking like this:
Komisarek-Liles extra: Holzer
In 2 years it will look something like this, barring any major changes.
Yakupov -Galchenyuk- Kessel
Or something similar to that. By the way I am assuming/pretty sure a lot wingers can play either wing, so I switched a few around. I am interested to hear your thoughts. Do you think those trades would be accepted?
I hate to break up Lupul and Kessel.