This post was originally posted in the summer of 2016, before the Leafs drafted Auston Matthews, and represents the sort of backwards focus of fans at that time. We’re reposting it as part of our Retro May series.
With the 2016 NHL Draft coming up in a couple weeks, there's lots of talk of trading picks to move up, trading to move down, or trading extra picks for other players.
Last week I looked at the Toronto Maple Leafs first ever draft pick, Walt McKechnie. Then I was down a rabbit hole of draft recaps, and it got me wondering; what happened to al those picks the Leafs traded away?
We all know about the picks that nabbed the Bruins Seguin and Hamilton being traded for Kessel, and anyone who's been following the Leafs long enough knows full well about the Tom Kurvers for Scott Neidermayer trade.
So were all of the Leafs pick trades like those? No, but the challenge was set: Build a team comprised of players picked by Leafs draft picks.
I set my limits to picks traded no later than 2011. I then went though NHL Trade Tracker's filter for the Maple Leafs and wrote them all down in this spreadsheet.
I picked my players based on games played/points. All info comes from Hockey-Reference/Elite Prospects. Players are stacked by draft position.
Pierre Plante - 1971 1st round pick - 9th overall - Philadelphia
Stats: 599GP - 125G - 172A - 297P
The trade: 1971 1st overall, Bruce Gamble, & Mike Walton to Philadelphia for Rick Kehoe and Bernie Parent.
Starting off the team with the oldest pick on the list, Pierre Plante. The pick was 9th overall in the '71 draft, and was the first entry draft pick ever traded by the Maple Leafs. Parent would end up play 599 regular season NHL games with the Flyers, Blues, Blackhawks, Rangers, and Nordiques before retiring in 1980.
Dainius Zubrus - 1996 1st round pick - 15th overall - Philadelphia
Stats: 1293GP - 228G - 363A - 591P
The Trade: 1996 1st & 4th, 1997 7th to Philadelphia for 1996 2nd & Dmitry Yushkevich.
One of the oldest picks on this list who is still playing, Dainius Zubrus has spent time in Philadelphia, Montreal, Washington, Buffalo, and is currently playing with the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final. He probably is best known for his time with the New Jersey Devils, however. He's been active with the Lithuanian international team as well, capturing a Division 1B Bronze medal in 2014.
Rickard Rakell - 2011 1st round pick - 30th overall - Anaheim Ducks
Stats: 165GP - 29G - 49A - 78P
The Trade: 2011 1st & 2nd to Anaheim for 2011 1st.
A youngster has come up on our list in the same position as the oldest player. Rakell is an good addition to this team on the wing, his time with Anaheim has been improving steadily. He's been a mainstay on the Swedish national team, having competed in seven tournaments by age 23, winning two goals, two silvers, and one bronze.
Joey Kocur - 1983 5th round pick - 88th overall - Detroit
Stats: 820GP - 80G - 82A - 162P
The Trade: 1982 4th & 5th to Detroit for Jim Korn
Okay so I'm gooning it up here, but for my last RW I went with a recognizable name. Kocur earned 2519PM with Detroit, Vancouver, and the Rangers through the 80's and 90's. He was the most penalized player in the NHL in 85/86 and won three Stanley Cups - '94 with the Rangers and 97/98 with the Red Wings.
Tyler Seguin - 2010 1st round pick - 2nd overall - Boston Bruins
Stats: 426GP - 163G - 193A - 335P
The Trade: 2010 1st & 2nd, 2011 1st to Boston for Phil Kessel
Tyler Seguin, a name most Leafs fans are probably sick of hearing, atleast coming out of the mouths of non-Leafs fans because WE GET IT HE'S REALLY GOOD AT HOCKEY AND THE LEAFS TRADED AWAY HIS PICK. In 2009 Brian Burke felt that the Maple Leafs were steps away from competing in the playoffs and wanted a forward who could help them right away. That's where the trade for Phil Kessel came in, and that...didn't go as planned. We got a great forward, but the rest didn't happen. Eventually Boston traded away Seguin and the Leafs traded away Kessel. Neither team got back what they paid out.
Vaclav Prospal - 1993 3rd round pick - 71st overall - Philadelphia
Stats: 1108 GP - 255G - 510A - 765P
The Trade: 1993 3rd to Philadelphia for Mike Bullard
Vaclav Prospal is a fan favourite where ever he goes, but is loved the most in Tampa Bay, even if he missed out on winning the cup there by one year. He's played in Philadelphia, Anaheim, Ottawa, Florida, NY Rangers, Columbus, and even captained his home town team to promotion in the Czech league during the lost year, but only one team is mentioned on his elite prospects page:
Matthew Lombardi - 2002 3rd round pick - 90th overall - Calgary Flames
Stats: 536GP - 101G - 161A - 262P
The Trade: 2002 3rd & 5th to Calgary for 2002 3rd
Lombardi spent the majority of his career with the Flames, but also played with Anaheim, Arizona, and even came home to Toronto for a season. He was a solid depth centre and is currently playing for Genève-Servette HC in the Swiss National League, and has won the Spengler Cup, and gold and silver World Championship medals.
Colin Wilson - 2008 1st round pick - 7th overall - Nashville
Stats: 432GP - 83G - 119A - 202P
The Trade: 2008 1st & 3rd, 2009 2nd to NY Islanders for 2008 1st
The Predators would trade up with the Islanders for Wilson, who has spent his entire career with Nashville, only playing half a season with their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Wilson won the NCAA Championship with Boston University in 2009 and has won two silvers and one gold in IIHF junior events.
Brandon Saad - 2011 2nd round pick - 43rd overall - Chicago
Stats: 286GP - 83G - 96A - 179P
The Trade: 2011 2nd & 3rd to Chicago for 2010 2nd
Saad is only 23 years old but is already a multiple Stanley Cup winner ('13/'15 with Chicago) and now that he's in Columbus it's probably good he got that done early. Saad's pick's trade is connected to Seguin, Hamilton, and Kessel. The 2010 2nd that the Leafs traded for was their own, originally sent to Montreal in the Leafs trade for Mikhail Grabovski, Montreal sent it to Chicago to obtain Robert Lang. The Leafs trade two picks in '11 for their '10 second back so they could threaten Boston with an offer sheet to Kessel.
Wow this trade really distributed some good players, eh?
Mike Cammalleri - 2001 2nd round pick - 49th overall - Los Angeles
Stats: 779GP - 277G - 305A - 582P
The Trade: 2001 2nd & Adam Mair to Los Angeles for Aki Berg
Mike "mid-game trade" Cammalleri has been a great player for a few NHL teams. He spent 5 years with LA after doing 3 at U. Michigan. Then he played one season in Calgary scoring 82 in 81 and signed with Montreal until he was traded mid-game back to Calgary. He's spent the past two years in New Jersey, after a summer of speculation he'd "come home" to Toronto. No one does that.
Kevin Stevens - 1983 6th round pick - 108th overall - Los Angeles
Stats: 874GP - 329G - 397A - 726P
The Trade: 1981 6th round pick & Bob Gladney to Los Angeles for Don Luce
Shortly after being drafted by Los Angeles, his rights were sent to Pittsburgh, a team willing to wait while he played his four years at Boston College. In his final year at BC Stevens captained the team to a Hockey East title. That wouldn't be his last championship. Stevens would be wearing the "A" when the Penguins claimed back to back Stanley Cups. and would win a bronze medal at the '96 World Championships. A beloved figure in Pittsburgh he played one last year there after time with Philadelphia, Boston, NY Rangers, and Los Angeles. Stevens would be a pro scout with the Penguins until 2012 as well.
Pavol Demitra - 1993 9th round pick - 227th overall - Ottawa
Stats: 848GP - 304G - 464A - 768P
The Trade: 1993 9th to Ottawa for Brad Miller
Demitra would play three years with the Senators and their AHL team before going to St. Louis and establishing himself as an NHLer there. He'd be a Blue for seven years before moving on after the lost season. He'd go from LA to Minnesota, to Vancouver before leaving the NHL and joining Lokomotiv Yaroslavl in the KHL. Prior to the start of the season, their plane would crash and Demitra would be among those lost. He was a hero to Slovakian hockey, playing for the national team 11 times and captaining them twice, wining a World Championship bronze medal in 2003.
Eric Belanger - 1996 4th round pick - 96th overall - Los Angeles
Stats: 820GP - 138G - 220A - 358P
The Trade: 1996 4th, Chris Snell, Eric Lacroix to Los Angeles for Kelly Fairchild, Guy Leveque, Shayne Toporowski, and Dixon Ward
Could be a starter at C, Belanger is still a quality player to have down low in the roster. He played for Los Angeles, Carolina, Atlanta, Minnesota, Washington, Arizona, and Edmonton he traveled around in the last few years of his career before playing briefly in the KHL before retiring.
Craig Smith - 2009 4th round pick - 98th overall - Nashville
Stats: 359GP - 86G - 95A - 181P
The Trade: 2007 1st & 2009 4th to San Jose for Vesa Toskala
Another indirect Nashville pick, it was sent from SJ in a draft pick swap, Smith has put up good depth numbers for Nashville. His highlights so far include being named a first team all star in the USHL and winning a bronze in the World Championships.
Scott Niedermayer - 1991 1st round pick - 3rd overall - New Jersey
Stats: 1263GP - 172G - 574A - 746P
The Trade: 1991 1st to New Jersey for Tom Kurvers
Sigh. For an in-depth look at this trade please go see the link to DGB above. Neidermayer may be one of the biggest losses in traded draft picks. He won three cups with New Jersey ('95, '00, '03) as well as a Norris Trophy in 2004 before joining his brother Rob in Anaheim after the lost season, where he'd win another Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe Trophy. He won the Memorial Cup with Kamloops in '92, MVP as well, Internationally he won the world juniors in '91, Olympic gold medal in '02 and '10, a World Championship in '04, and a World Cup in '94. The best example of the Leafs doing dumb things people can think of.
Darius Kasparaitis - 1992 1st round pick - 5th overall - NY Islanders
Stats: 863GP - 27G - 136A - 163P
The Trade: 1991 1st to NY Islanders for 1992 1st & 2nd
Even when the Leafs come out with more picks, they still lose the trade. Kasparaitis was a solid defensive defenseman who plied his trade for the Isles, Penguins, Avalanche and the NY Rangers before leaving for a couple years in the KHL when the Rangers sent him to Hartford.
Dougie Hamilton - 2011 1st round pick - 9th overall - Boston
Stats: 260GP - 34G - 92A - 126P
The Trade: 2010 1st & 2nd, 2011 1st to Boston for Phil Kessel
The other player lost in the Kessel trade (sorry Jared Knight, no one remembers you), Dougie Hamilton also doesn't play for the Bruins anymore. Traded to the Flames for some magic beans, Hamilton is heading into his fifth full NHL season and is building himself up into a solid defender for the Flames for years to come.
Mark Hardy - 1979 2nd round pick - 30th overall - Los Angeles
Stats: 915GP - 62G - 306A - 368P
The Trade: 1979 2nd to Los Angeles for Dave Hutchison
Despite being just 5'10, small enough to be marked "too small" by today's standards, Hardy played 14 years, split between Los Angeles and the Rangers, with a 15 game fling in Minnesota. He won a bronze with Canada in 1986 at the Worlds, and has coached since his retirement, ending up back with the Kings to start and is currently an assistant coach with the AHL Chicago Wolves.
Roman Josi - 2008 2nd round pick - 38th overall - Nashville
Stats: 334GP - 52G - 138A - 190P
The Trade: 2008 2nd & Brendan Bell to Arizona for 2008 5th & Yanic Perreault
Nashville will always draft players from indirectly acquired Leafs picks. The Leafs sent the 2nd to Arizona, who then flipped it to Nashville for a 2nd and a 3rd. Josi has been a mainstay in Nashville for the past three seasons and has been putting up great numbers for a defenseman. Josi is also heavily involved in the Swiss team, playing in as many international tournaments as he can, winning a silver medal and MVP at the 2013 World Championships tournament.
Steve Smith - 1981 6th round pick - 111th overall - Edmonton
Stats: 804GP - 72G - 303A - 375P
The Trade: 1981 6th to Edmonton for Reg Thomas
Another solid D not drafted by the Leafs, Smith was guarding the blueline for three of the Oilers dynasty cups, and would then play for Chicago and Calgary. On top of three cups he'd win a Canada Cup in 1991 and is now an assistant coach with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Larry Goodenough - 1973 2nd round pick - 20th overall - Philadelphia
Stats: 242GP - 22G - 77A - 99P
The Trade: 1973 2nd & Bernie Parent to Philadelphia for 1973 1st, Doug Favel, and Willie Brossant
Just Goodenough to be our seventh defense man, the awesomely named Flyers d-man rounds out our list of skaters. Only playing two NHL only seasons, he bounces from Flyers affiliate to the Canucks to their affiliates, and nowwatches games from this made up teams press box.
Roberto Luongo - 1997 1st round pick - 4th overall - NY Islanders
Stats: 926GP - .919sv% - 2.49GAA
The Trade: 1997 1st, Kenny Jonsson, Darby Hendrickson, & Sean Haggerty to NY Islanders for Wendel Clark, Mathieu Schneider, & DJ Smith
Traded by the Islanders with Olli Jokinen for Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish, Luongo gets to make two teams "regretted trade" lists. Luongo went on to become an elite goaltending for Florida, captain of the Vancouver Canucks, and twitter sensation.
The Leafs have had Vesa Toskala, Andrew Raycroft, the ghost of Curtis Joseph, and Jonathan Bernier in net instead.
John Gibson - 2011 2nd round pick - 39th overall - Anaheim
Stats: 66GP - .920 sv% - 2.22GAA
The Trade: 2011 1st & 2nd to Anaheim for 2011 1st.
Gibson is the backup for this team, but also someone with an eye on taking over the starter position from Strombone. He played 40 games for Anaheim last year, and is looking for a starter position soon. He has scores of awards from his pre-NHL days, such as: Three IIHF junior gold medals with Team USA, a World Championship bronze medal, multiple OHL All-Star Team honours and was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team this past season.
Oh, and his pick was acquired with Rickard Rakell's from Toronto as the Leafs traded up to select Tyler Biggs.
Jim Carey - 1992 2nd round pick - 32nd overall - Washington
Stats: 172GP - .898sv% - 2.58GAA
The Trade: 1992 2nd & 3rd, 1993 4th to Washington for 1992 1st & 4th
You can find his picture in the encyclopedia, or to be modern, on Wikipedia, next to "flash in the pan". Carey burst onto the scene for the Capitals and ran away with the 1996 Vezian Trophy. Then he played 73 NHL games with Washington, Boston, and St. Louis over four seasons and left the NHL.
Here's the team, with no thought towards line combos:
|Kevin Stevens||Tyler Seguin||Dainius Zubrus|
|Pavol Demitr||Vaclav Prospal||Rickard Rakell|
|Mike Cammalleri||Matthew Lombardi||Pierre Plante|
|Brandon Saad||Craig Smith||Joey Kocur|
|Extra:||Eric Belanger||Colin Wilson|
|Scott Neidermayer||Mark Hardy|
|Darius Kasparaitis||Steve Smith|
|Dougie Hamilton||Roman Josi|
That is a pretty good team. I'm sure the bottom tier players could be swapped around, I linked my google doc with the list of traded away picks, so feel free to make changes in the comments.
So what did we learn?
Well, you need to trade picks occasionally, and while they do screw things up once in a while, only missing out on under 20 home runs out of 126 picks isn't terrible. Although the trades they made to miss that player usually were.