So, I heard Brian Burke say the other day that he could have traded guys in the room and recieved as many as four first round picks.
Why don't we have those first round picks? Me thinks because BB knows his own drafting record is fairly lousy.
He made the statement that he didn't want the picks because he didn't want to wait three years for the picks to have to develop into something before they were useful to the club. Perhaps he hasn't watched a game recently, or checked out the standings, but it's going to be at least another three years before this collection of Maple Leafs is anywhere near the NHL Playoffs, let alone the Stanley Cup.
In Burke's resume as a GM he has been responsible for drafting a few very good players: Chris Pronger (1st round, 2nd overall), the Sedin's (1st round, 1st and 2nd overall), Ryan Kesler (1st round, 23rd overall), Bobby Ryan (1st round, 2nd overall).
However, most of his picks have NEVER played in the NHL. In his three years running the Leafs draft table, he has managed to draft ONE player who has played as many as one NHL game - Nazem Kadri.
I would argue that the very good players Burke managed to draft previous to his becoming the GM of the Leafs were all players that any GM would have been able to draft in those positions. Who wouldn't have taken those players in those positions? Burke should be commended for pulling off the trade which saw him get both Sedin twins on draft day, but to select the twins was a no brainer.
When it comes to Burke really earning his money as a GM and finding players to draft in the rounds past the first in the draft, it can only be said the he is an unmitigated failure.