Day 2 of the 2015 NHL Draft.
With the #34th overall pick the Toronto Maple Leafs select Erie Otters defenseman Travis Dermott. This is a solid addition for the boys in blue, The Newmarket Ontario native led the Otters D with 37 assist in the 2014-15 season. Dermott is a highly intelligent mobile defenseman, that creates offensive threats, and is known for his superb on ice vision. At 6ft 197lbs he isn't overly big but he's decent in the physical game, and doesn't force plays. His overall game is very impressive and the two - way d man will be turning heads for years to come.
Dmytro Timashov selected in the 5th round #125th overall was an absolute steal. Timashov is an explosive, agile winger with nifty puck handling skills, lightning quick speed, and is perceived as a play making specialist. In his first season with the Quebec Remparts, Timashov was the QMJHL rookie of the year and offensive rookie of the year after averaging well over a point per game by producing an impressive 19 goals 71 assist (90pts) in 66 games. The Ukrainian born dynamo is a all around threat on the ice but is considered to be a little bit of a puck hog. If he can continue to flourish and mature I believe he can be a top 6 forward in the NHL one day.
Martin Dzierkals selected in the 3rd round 68th overall is arguably the most over looked player available in the draft. Dzierkals produced 9pts (3G/6A) in 6 games with team Latvia at the u18 tournament. Standing at 5ft 11 168lbs Dzierkals has shown to have a little bit of a aggressive side but he continues to be a mystery box player until we see further development. In my opinion I believe he was selected a little too early in this deep draft class, but only time will tell if Hunter / Dubas analytic approach pays off.
The Leafs cupboards are practically empty when it comes to defensive prospects. After Dylan Strome was off the board at #3 I thought it was painfully obvious the Leafs needed to add help to the back end with the addition of either Hanifin, or Provorov. Both are highly respected elite defensive prospects that would have paired nicely alongside Morgan Rielly.
Instead, With the 4th overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft the Toronto Maple Leafs selected London Knights forward Mitch Marner. Don Cherry is probably ecstatic that the Leafs selected a good ole Ontario boy but Why Shanny why would you let Hunter blow the 4th pick on a undersized, overrated, beanpole of a hockey player. Yes, I know he's drawn a lot of comparison to NHL star Patrick Kane, with his magical stickhandling ability and jaw dropping assist totals (57G/128A/127GP) but some seem to forget this was the Maple Leafs highest selection in the draft since the 3rd overall pick back in 1989 (Scott Thornton). Marner is extremely undersized when compared to the average NHL forward, standing at 5ft 11 160lbs Marner will need to add on some significant weight if he wants to keep up in the big league. For most of the 2014-15 season Marner played along side Phoenix prospect Max Domi. The duo complimented each other nicely but to me it was always Domi who stuck out and Marner was just another guy on the ice. I will be curious to see how Marner develops without Domi spoon feeding him points next year. Being a die hard Leafs fan I'm really hoping I'm wrong on this prediction and Marner develops into the next Doug Gilmour.
Jeremy Bracco selected in the 2nd round #61st overall is a decent pickup, I don't have much to say in regards to his on ice performance but earlier today Mike Augello retweeted Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) Jeremy Bracco says his mom is a "big fan of Tim Horton's."
Most people would kill to have the opportunity to be drafted by the Leafs and Bracco's talking about how his mom likes Timmies? Come on Maaaaaaaaan!
Toronto Maple Leafs traded their 24th pick to the Flyers for their 29th and 61st pick. Then moments later the boys in blue traded the 29th selection to the Columbus Blue jackets for the 34th and 68th pick. This was actually a really smart move by the Leafs management because they gained three picks in a deep draft (34th-61st-68th) in addition to moving down 10 spots. The reason I added this trade to "the ugly" list is because both Ottawa 67's forward Travis Konecny (OHL Rookie of the year 2013-14) and Kelowna Rockets forward Nicholas Merkley (WHL Rookie of the year 2013-14) were available at 24 and Leafs management decided to pass. So the trade worked out to be Dermott, Bracco, & Dzierkals for the 24th pick (Travis Konecny).
At the end of the day I'm happy with the new additions to the prospect pool, and I hope most of Leaf nation is too. Thanks for reading, your comments are appreciated.