Many websites and groups conduct mock re-drafts for certain years to see how the draft could have been if we knew how these young men (at the time) would have turned out.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are always a hot topic when it comes to draft picks (or their lack of), and with having the 4th overall pick in 2016, let’s revisit some of the most notable draft years and the “What If” for the buds.
2000 Entry Draft, Pick #24: Brad Boyes
Brad Boyes never played a game for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead, they opted to trade him to the San Jose Sharks with Alyn McCauley and a 1st round selection in 2003.
Post-Pick Picks: Steve Ott (25th), Justin Williams (28th), Niklas Kronwall (29th)
2001 Entry Draft, Pick #17: Carlo Colaiacovo
After being bounced around the Leafs in both NHL and AHL affiliates and a major concussion, he was traded with Alex Steen (d’oh!) to the Blues for Lee Stempniak.
Post-Pick Picks: Dereck Roy (32nd overall), Michael Cammalleri (49th), Jason Pominville (55th)
2002 Entry Draft, Pick #24: Alexander Steen
Before you facepalm yourself, Alex Steen didn’t have the breakout career he saw with the St. Louis Blues while he was with the Leafs. He never hit the 20 goal mark and had a high 45 points in his rookie campaign before being traded in the Colaiacovo deal.
Post-Pick Picks: Duncan Keith (54th), Jiri Hudler (58th), Johnny Boychuk (61st),
2005 Entry Draft, Pick #21: Tukka Rask
This one still haunts the Maple Leafs administration and fans. After being duped by Boston and the infamous Raycroft Trade, Rask won the Stanley Cup, Vezina Trophy and number of other accolades. Makes you wonder if they should have picked someone else, rather than dump Rask without even giving him a shot in the NHL, assuming they didn’t trade them off as easily.
Post-Pick Picks: T.J. Oshie (24th), Matt Niskanen (28th), James Neal (33rd), Paul Stastny (44th), Kris Letang (62nd), Jonathan Quick (72nd), Keith Yandle (105th)
2006 Entry Draft, Pick #13: Jiri Tlusty
Another promising player that didn’t quite produce when wearing the Blue and White sweather, Tlusty was later traded to Carolina for Phillippe Paradis (who?) two years after the nude photo scandal.
Post-Pick Picks: Claude Giroux (22nd), Semyon Varlamov (23rd), Nick Foligno (28th)
2008 Entry Draft, Pick #5: Luke Schenn
Probably the only player drafted and traded by the Maple Leafs that achieved a more than fair return that brought James Van Riemsdyk to Toronto. No major complaints about this one (except for maybe Erik Karlsson) as Schenn sees the scratch list more often than not these days.
Post-Pick Picks: Erik Karlsson (15th), Jordan Eberle (22nd), John Carlson (27th), Derek Stepan (51st)
2009 Entry Draft, Pick #7: Nazem Kadri
The face of Paramount Fine Foods (love that hummus!) saw a lot of “development” time in the AHL, but he’s still playing for the Maple Leafs.
Post-Pick Picks: Chris Kreider (19th), Ryan O’Reilly (33rd), Carl Klingberg (34th), Tomas Tatar (60th)
2011 Entry Draft, Pick #22: Tyler Biggs & Pick #25: Stuart Percy
There isn’t much to say about these two as Percy has played only 9 games with Toronto and Biggs has yet to see one, they are still doing their mandatory “development time” in the AHL.
Post-Pick Picks: Brandon Saad (43rd), Nikita Kucherov (58th)
2012 Entry Draft, Pick #5: Morgan Reilly
Morgan Reilly had a fairly “productive” year with the Leafs in 2014-15, all things considered. They continue to develop him into a high minutes player and have shown a strong armed no-trade attitude when it comes to their #5 pick.
Post-Pick Picks: Jacob Trouba (9th), Filip Forsberg (11th), Tanner Pearson (30th)