Maybe you might disagree, but I don't at least, initially see a lot of Superstar status-type players in the top half of the 2014 projected picks. There will be many good players selected within the top 5, but between picks 6-12 I don't see a lot of huge disparities in talent.
I think there will be plenty of decent options available for the Leafs...even at the #8 position. Of course, that doesn't mean that, there are some players I'd rather see the Leafs draft than others.
It's usually very rare for teams to move into the top 5 picks. I've looked into the last 10 years, and there aren't many examples of swaps in the top-5.
-The latest such example was the Kessel for Seguin/Hamilton/Knight trade, and the pick would have been lower had the Leafs finished better that year. (So to get a top 5 pick it costs a 1st line player, a 1st and a 2nd, by that latest value.)
-Another example was in the 2008 draft when the Leafs moved up to take Luke Schenn, they swapped positions with the NYI, which cost them two third round picks and a 2nd.
-The last example was when Columbus swapped positions with Atlanta from 4th to 8th and also gave up a 2nd to select Ladd.
So, by rough estimates it's hard to project what it would take for the Leafs to get the #1 pick. The rumored price sounds VERY steep, and as you can see over the course of time the price of getting those picks has only gone up, not down.
Teams value 1st round picks more than they used to. Perhaps, the Leafs could swap their pick and an additional roster or young player to move into the top 5.
But still even at the #8 position, there will be a decent player available. The Leafs should draft for a positional need. Though it always makes sense to draft BPA.
Still, unless they get lucky and one of Reinhart, Bennett, Nylander, Dal Colle falls into their lap, they'll most likely be looking at draft another winger, which, at this point isn't really a organizational need.
So who would that leave at the #8 spot, based on a team organizational need? Without the Leafs purging additional picks? One guy to keep your eye on is Jared McCann. ISS is projecting his value steadily climbing, after earlier in the year he was projected as a 12-15 pick.
If the Leafs do prefer to draft for an organizational need, without moving up he might be the guy to keep an eye on. There's always the potential the Leafs could trade down as well.
DT: 1.Ekblad 2.Draisaitl 3.Bennett 4.Reinhart 5.Dal Colle 6.Nylander 7.Virtainen 8.McCann 9.Ritchie 10.Fleury 11.Fabbri 12.Ehlers 13.Tuch— Mark Seidel (@MarkSeidel) June 4, 2014
So, if the rumors are true, I think it's an overpayment to get the #1 pick. It's going to cost the Leafs a top 6 talent, and young player, and another young player(their 1st round pick) and possibly additional assets as well.