With their final pick in the draft (barring last minute trades), the Maple Leafs drafted Noah Chadwick, a 6'4" left shot defenseman from the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.
Elite Prospects writer and North American scout/tracker Mitch Brown wrote about Chadwick back in April as a potential "low scoring" standout who could be a breakout next year.
Even though Chadwick scored just 20 points, his point play shows more nuance and skill than many who outscored him. He moves through pass receptions, fakes plays, uses space, looks for teammates around the slot, and even if a point shot’s the best play, he usually aims for sticks instead corners. He shows a similar desire to create in transition, forgoing dump-outs for passes, deceiving opponents if necessary.
Here's a more full blurb about him from their Draft Guide, where the EP team had him ranked 132nd – that would make him a potential 'steal' at 185th:
Look at Noah Chadwick’s Elite Prospects page, and it’d be easy to make assumptions about his game. Big, low-scoring defender – probably not an offensive player. That’d be wrong. Even though he scored just 20 points, his point play shows more nuance and skill than many who outscored him.
Chadwick moves through pass receptions, fakes plays, uses space, looks for teammates around the slot over shooting from the point. If a point shot’s the best play, he usually aims for sticks instead of corners. He shows a similar desire to create in transition, forgoing dump-outs for passes through opponents, deceiving if necessary.
Defensively, Chadwick gets on opponents early and angles them to the outside; his well-timed pokes and stick work made him one of the WHL’s better rush defenders. The skating’s the biggest limiter across the rink, with a lack of depth limiting his power, edges, and stability. As such, Chadwick lacks the tools to make full use of his brain. In short, he creates lanes and space, but his skating and hands often prevent him from accessing them, limiting his production.
Still, for teams looking for defender with size and intelligence, he’d make a fine pick in the mid-to-late rounds. Chadwick has more upside than the average prospect selected in the range, but the projection’s a long-term one.
I quite like this pick, as much as anyone can like a 6th round pick. For two reasons, one it's the kind of swing on a long term project that their development team can work with to unlock that potential. That's the kind of swing I like. Second, because he's the first defenseman Toronto has taken in like four drafts.
Funny story... Cathy found out that Chadwick was actually teammates with Hudson Malinoski in Sasktoon's AAA team, back when Chadwick was used as a center.
Welcome to Toronto, Noah!
Here are some highlights: