clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Bob McKenzie’s mid-season draft rankings has exactly who you expect on top

New, comments

We don’t care about him though, there’s no lottery balls in the Leafs’ future.

Halifax Mooseheads v Blainville-Boisbriand Armada
Could he be a Leaf?
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The annual TSN mid-season rankings are out, and you should first go there and read what Bob McKenzie has to say about this draft and study the list. You don’t need to be told who is number one, but for fans of the draft, you might be interested in the top ten.

As Leaf fans, that’s an academic interest, though. We need to turn out attention to the bottom half, give or take, of the top 31 draft prospects. Somewhere in there is where the Leafs number one pick will fall. Last year at this time we looked at the rankings with the same sort of idea in mind, perhaps with an expectation that the Leafs might not make the playoffs.

There’s a mention in there of Timothy Liljegren. He was ranked at third at the time, so you never know how it will go with draft picks. People get hurt, play well, have terrible years, are stuck on bad teams or go lights out in their playoffs, and there will be a lot of movement between now and the draft.

This year’s themes as seen by McKenzie are a lack of Canadians and of centres in the top few spots. The first is irrelevant to us — Leafs come from every corner of the hockey-playing world. But the second is interesting because it’s centres the Leafs are shy of.

Let’s take a peek at the list from the first centre that is even remotely in the Leafs’ likely range and then look on down the list for names of players that might rise. This isn’t the cream of the crop. We don’t drink cream these days.

The milk of the crop!

Rank Player Team POS HT WT
Rank Player Team POS HT WT
15 Joe Veleno Drummondville (QMJHL) C 6'1 195
16 Joel Farabee USA NTDP (USHL) LW 5'11 152
17 Ryan McLeod Mississuaga (OHL) C/LW 6'2 190
18 Jared McIsaac Halifax (QMJHL) D 6'1 195
19 Jesperi Kotkaniemi Ässät (SM Liiga) C 6'1 ½ 188
20 Isac Lundestrom Luleå (SHL) C/LW 5'11 ¼ 178
21 Grigori Denisenko Yaroslavl (MHL) LW 5'11 163
22 Serron Noel Oshawa (OHL) RW 6'4 200
23 Jacob Olofsson Timra (SWE-Als) C 6'2 185
24 Mattias Samuelsson USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'3 ¼ 209
25 Dominik Bokk Vaxjo (SuperElit) LW/RW 6'1 179
26 Jack McBain Toronto (OJHL) C 6'3 ¼ 196
27 Jett Woo Moose Jaw (WHL) D 5'11 ¾ 205
28 Benoît-Olivier Groulx Halifax (QMJHL) C 6'0 ¾ 192
29 Akil Thomas Niagara (OHL) RW 5'11 169
30 Martin Kaut Pardubice (CZE Extra) RW 6'1 ½ 176
31 Alexander Alexeyev Red Deer (WHL) D 6'3 ½ 184
32 Calen Addison Lethbridge (WHL) D 5'9 ¾ 179
33 K'Andre Miller USA NTDP (USHL) D 6'3 ½ 194
34 Rasmus Sandin S.S. Marie (OHL) D 5'10 ¾ 183
35 Jakub Lauko Chomutov (CZE Extra) LW 6'0 169
36 Jesse Ylonen Espoo (FIN) RW 5'11 ¾ 160
37 Kevin Bahl Ottawa (OHL) D 6'5 ¾ 225
38 Jonathon Tychonick Penticton (BCHL) D 5'11 ¼ 166
39 Vitali Kravtsov Chelyabinsk (KHL) RW 6'2 170
40 Adam Ginning Linköping (SHL) D 6'2 ¾ 196
41 Ty Dellandrea Flint (OHL) C/RW 5'11 ¾ 180
42 Sampo Ranta Sioux City (UHSL) RW 6'0 ¾ 192
43 Jay O'Brien Thayer (USHS) C 6'0 175
44 Filip Johansson Leksands (SWE J20) D 6'0 ½ 174

There’s a lot of interesting prospects in here. I’m picking Jesperi Kotkaniemi, simply because every team needs a Kasperi and a Jesperi. For similar reasons, I’ve heard some Leafs fans are interested in Jett Woo. More defence would be nice.

Another interesting choice is Benoit-Olivier Groulx, son of the coach of the Syracuse Crunch, the Marlies darkest, deepest enemy. Drafting him would piss off the Lighting, and the Habs, because their desire for a French-Canadian centre is boundless.

Akil Thomas is who seldo wants, and I’ll let him tell you himself sometime why.

I was really impressed with Isac Lundestrom at the WJC, and wouldn’t say no to him. The other Rasmus, Rasmus Kupari might be a guy who will drop a little as the scouts find Canadians to haul up into the top of the list.

Who do you like? Who catches your eye? Who do you hope falls into the Leafs clutches this year?