Yes, there was lots of news yesterday, and Leafs fans can feel happy about pretty much all of it. Dave Nonis looks like he hit a home run snagging William Nylander at 8th overall (much to the chagrin of certain Canucks fans) and to top it off, we discovered that he was focusing on Ehlers and Nylander all along. This focus on skilled forwards is at least one positive sign that the Leafs are taking a new direction under Brendan Shanahan.
The bad news for the Leafs (along with several other teams) is that the NHL salary cap was set for next season at $69MUSD, which is a bit lower than many executives hoped for earlier last season. Apparently, the deflation of the Canadian Dollar means that the new Rogers TV deal isn't worth quite what many had hoped. Combine this with the fact that the Leafs went over the cap by roughly $500k due to bonuses paid at the end of the season, and the Leafs now have roughly $20M to spend on acquiring 10 players. It's tough to see how the team is going to be better next season without better cap efficiency, but October is still a long ways away.
For now, let's just sit back and enjoy another day of drafting (even though the Leafs don't have a second rounder) and hopefully a few trades. Until that gets under way, I've gathered a few links on fan reaction to the picks for you to peruse.
Here's a link to the live stream of the rest of the draft (which started at 10 a.m.) via the Leafs's site.
Check out the reaction from Pens fans at Pensburgh. I'm not sure they realize what a loss this is for their team. They seem to buy into all this stuff about the locker room negativity and whatnot. I'll admit, I think Neal is a dirty player, but he scored 184 points in 199 games with the Pens.
You'd think that teams would learn what a hindrance paying too much for a player can be. Just don't do it, guys. Tampa is going to be good this year. Reaction from Nucks Misconduct.
The Ducks are going to be downright scary next season, particularly because they didn't have to bankrupt their prospect system or give up too good a player to get a good 2C in Kesler. More reaction from NM.
Nylander comes in at 4th overall, which is really encouraging to see. This article from the Oil Rig was extremely well researched and cross-referenced. Definitely worth a look.
Just in case you missed it and are looking for a quick rundown of who went where. From the NHL's website.