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It's tough to say what the price of moving up in a draft like this one would be. Moving even a few spots in the top ten could be quite expensive.

Garth Snow was demanding the Leafs pick along with two additional 2nd round picks(we ended up giving him a 2nd and 3rd) in last year's draft to move up two spots. This was the price in a draft not as strong as this one. With so much talent in the top ten....if the Leafs already have a high pick, would it be worth it?

In a draft this deep, it may cost a late 1st round pick to move up a few spots to move up to take a few of the more highly regarded players. If that's the price, then I might not be willing to pay it if talent like Kane, MSP, Schenn, and Kadri are still available.

Looking at the 2003 draft, a draft which this year's is being compared too, could explain what I mean by this. Philadelphia had the 11th overall pick and the 24th overall pick that year. Moving up well into the top ten it might have cost them that late 1st round pick. Those firsts ended up being Carter and Richards. I understand that this year has a lot of upfront 'franchise' talent, but it is also very deep later on, like the 2003 draft, and I don't see one player in the top ten of that draft that could've been worth Carter and Richards.

Similar situation could apply to Anaheim who would've had to give up the 19th and 28th overall pick. Those two picks ended up being Perry and Getzlaf.

Hedman appears to be the player who will be chosen as 1st overall. I still don't know how to look at Tavares yet. After being so highly touted, he hasn't shown much progress. His numbers dropped last season, and he's going at a slower pace this season(48 pts. in 30 GP), he's 2nd in scoring in the OHL, behind Taylor Hall(being considered as a candidate for 1st overall pick in 2010)

It's just my look of things, some would argue quality not quantity, but there is so much quality in this draft, that if we had two 1st round picks I may be tempted to keep them.

In the end what matters is what Brian Burke and Co. want out of their 1st round draft pick this year.

Today the Toronto Maple Leafs and Brian Burke formally introduced Dave Nonis as Senior Vice-President of hockey operations. I really like this move. TSN described Burke and Nonis as polar opposites, and that I think, is key to the two working together. Burke is a good GM, but Nonis serves a very important purpose...which Burke even pointed out in the press conference. He said that there would be times where Burke would be tempted to make rash decisions and Nonis would be there to kind of talk some sense into him.

What I like even further is Nonis being signed to a 6-year deal, same length as Burke's deal. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet said confidently there would be no out in his contract that would let him leave his position with Toronto to be a GM elsewhere. It looks like Burke is trying to put together a well-structured organization, like the one in Detroit. I think it's also important to mention that Nonis was responsible for stealing Roberto Luongo from Florida for Todd Bertuzzi and Alex Auld! =)

The Leafs front office shaping up really nicely with Burke as GM and President, Dave Nonis as VP of Hockey President, Cliff Fletcher as Advisor, Joe Nieuwendyk as Assistant to GM, and Jeff Jackson as Assistant to GM and Director of Hockey Operations.

I don't expect many moves soon, especially since Burke's self imposed deadline kicks-in, in a couple of days. He should take the holiday season to evaluate every player. Kaberle, I think is one that has to go. As talented as he may be, he just hasn't been himself this season...and it's really depressing to think we could have had Jeff Carter and Luca Sbisa right now. Although he hasn't been himself overall, especially defensively (he's a -10 this season), he has still been putting up points and I still expect him to continue a 50-point pace.

Last year he was worth Carter (a young player waiting to break out) and a mid-range 1st. Even a step down would be fine with me. Moving Kaberle would make room for Stralman to step into a full-time role into the top four.

Stralman fighting Kovalchuk during an impressive run with team Sweden in the World Championships. He also scored a couple of goals on Team Canada.

Stralman in my opinion needs to be given more ice time, after his great play last year; he hasn't been too impressive thus far. He's still very young though, and I don't think fans should take his play this season, and think that Burke would be willing to deal him. Stralman is a fantastic talent, with a lot of offensive skill, but he brings more to the table than just that. He has a good presence on the ice, he skates well, and he's learning to play a more physical style of hockey. He added bulk this season by gaining 20 pounds, and I'm sure part of the reason he's gotten off to a slow start is because he was still adjusting to that.

Tonight's loss puts the Leafs 27th in the league (4th overall), we've played a game more than every team behind us, and more games than every team tied with us. We play Monday night against the Islanders...two teams at the basement of the NHL...should be interesting to see how this one turns out.

Thanks for your time...
Filed Under:   Hedman   Draft   Stralman   Nonis   Leafs   Burke   tml35  
December 7, 2008 5:11 PM ET | Delete
this trade deadline and draft are definately going to be the most exciting yet
December 7, 2008 8:18 PM ET | Delete
I must say I disagree with Hedman being solidified as the number 1 pick. While I do think there is a good chance he gets taken at that position, it will really depend on the needs of the team at the time. Hedman is a phenomenal defender, and he will be the best defender in the league some day, hands down. As for Tavares' decreasing output, I really think it is because he is getting bored in the OHL. What more does he have to prove at the OHL level? He has broken scoring records, established himself since he was 16, applied for "exceptional player status" in order to be drafted in the NHL and they did not allow it to happen. This year is just an extra year that he is being kept from further developing his talents and abilities. When he enters the NHL next year, regardless of who it is with, he will turn it right back on and prove his worth. As for the trade deadline, it is going to be extremely interesting. With teams such as the Islanders, Thrashers, Stars, and Panthers competing for the number one lottery pick, you could see a tremendous number of talks occurring trying to acquire that pick.
December 8, 2008 1:32 AM ET | Delete
First of all, great blog.Second, depends what we have. Ideally, we finish at the bottom of the league, making our own pick a top 5. Assuming Burke starts shopping our players, anywhere from 1-3 mid-to-late 1st rounders should be coming our way. I would love to get a package together (probably containing a combination of the mid-to-late 1st's we acquired, along with some 2nd/3rd round picks) to get another top 10 pick. Obviously, trading away draft picks isn't necessarily the smartest move, but getting two top-10 picks in this draft would be huge.Also, if I'm Burke (and let me be clear - I'm not), I'm wanting to get Brayden Schenn. Partly because he's projected to be a gritty, top-6 power forward (Burke's type of player), and partly because he's Luke Schenn's brother (and if his personality is anything like his brothers, then that'd be great for the future of this locker room). Not to mention having both in Toronto would likely increase both their chances of staying here for the balance of their careers, rather than running away when they become a UFA.Now, Brayden Schenn was projected to go top 5, but now has fallen to top 10 (10th to be exact). I'm assuming he's having a slow year. If we were to get two top 10 picks, it'd be beyond great to draft Hedman/Schenn, or Duchene/Schenn (not a huge Tavares fan, nor Cowen, and I don't think MSP is Burke's kind of guy).
December 8, 2008 11:01 AM ET | Delete
Actually the Leafs did give up 2 second round picks to the Isles to move up. Last years #2 and this years 2.
December 8, 2008 12:02 PM ET | Delete
"it will really depend on the needs of the team at the time"Most scouts will tell you that you draft the best palyer available....Not based on your needs at the time.
December 8, 2008 4:58 PM ET | Delete
To wasted years, and NY Isles, I think it really will come down to how John Tavares performs with the remainder of the season, IMO. If the draft were to occur tomorrow, and the Leafs and the leafs were last in the league I can't imagine that the Leafs would take John Tavares over Hedman, even though we really lack elite scoring talent. I think any team would be better off auctioning that pick off, for additional assets. I firmly believe that you should take the best player available in a draft, but I don't think, in the Leafs case, that's how Burke operates...Bobby Ryan is an example of what I mean.
December 8, 2008 5:16 PM ET | Delete
Hey Skerr33, I have to say I agree. I would absolutely love to have two top ten first round picks in this year's draft, that would do wonders for our rebuild. I don't think we will finish last so, I don't think we'll end up drafting Hedman, but I would love to grab a player like Duchene. Schenn is falling that's why I'd love to grab another pick to draft him. I don't necessarily agree with your view on MSP though. I think he's definitely the type of player Burke would be interested in. Although he is European he has size, he's a very fast sniper, but he's also a very effective play maker. He also has good hockey sense, which is something Burke really looks for in his players. He's quite the complete package. He's drawn comparison's to Henrik Zetterberg and even Peter Forsberg. If I had two top ten pick I would go for either Duchene - MSP, Kane - MSP, or Schenn - MSP. Essentially we would be exiting the draft with a franchise LW and a franchise C.
December 8, 2008 8:47 PM ET | Delete
Living in Whitby and having Generals season tickets, i get to see Tavares quite a bit. Now if i was to draft, i would take Hedman. Tavares has all the tools but just seems SLOW. Just my 2 cents..GREAT BLOG!
December 8, 2008 8:47 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
December 9, 2008 10:54 PM ET | Delete
Nice blog!
December 17, 2008 12:34 PM ET | Delete
Tavares was 2pt/game last year, exactly the same as the year before. He played less games, thus less points.
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