As it sits today, the Leafs are in last place and with the greatest chance (20%) of landing the first overall pick for the first time since 1985 (Wendel Clark). Auston Matthews grew up playing in Scottsdale, AZ watching the then Phoenix Coyotes play. Currently the Coyotes are sitting in a position likely to get the 10th overall pick. My question to you is, would the Leafs trade their first overall pick and if so, for what?
Undoubtedly, Arizona could use some hometown heroics and have the young guns in the system to make such a deal happen if they so choose. But what would make Toronto bite? What would make them throw away their first real chance to get a franchise center since Mats Sundin. A position woefully underserved for almost a decade now on the Blue and White.
The leafs wouldn’t consider rentals or anyone with a "3" at the beginning of their age. They are light on size and defensemen, and then centers. Two names immediately come to mind, Strome (size and center) and OEL (defense). OEL, I think, is the most underrated defenseman in the league along with Hedman of Tampa. He currently sits at second in the league in goals for defenseman at 17 and can eat minutes. He is a legitimate number 1 defenseman. He also brings a little experience and leadership but still at a young age (24). He can be part of the rebuild for the next decade. As for Strome, I think he is who the Leafs would have picked had they had the 3rd overall pick in 2015. His points are almost identical to Marner’s, but also has the size and center capability that Marner struggles with.
So, would OEL, Strome, and the 10th overall pick be enough to trade away possibly the second greatest draft prospect in the last decade? Arizona has the young talent stockpiled already, maybe ownership wants to deal some of them to get more tickets sold. Nobody could do it better in Arizona than Auston Matthews.
Toronto gets: OEL, Strome, 10th overall 2016.
Arizona gets: 1st overall.
What do you think? What would it take, on both sides to get this deal done?
Let me know in the comments section!
- always beLEAF