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Toronto Maple Leafs draft results: Round One

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Just how many players end up playing for the Leafs anyway?

2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Alumni Games Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

So, with the NHL combine this past weekend, and the draft three weeks away, curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know just how many Leafs draft picks ended a season or two (or rarely...more) for the team.

The results of my labours were...underwhelming. The first couple rounds had some great picks, but overall it’s not just Mark Hunter who picked players that went nowhere; it was every scout and GM hired by the team.

Wacky, eh?

So, here are the summarized results for the Leafs first round picks. The rest of the draft will follow over the course of the week. This is just a series on things I found while sorting the picks, I don’t have much of a narrative other than satisfying my own curiosity.

Let’s start with what position the Maple Leafs focus on.

Centres and defenders have been the most popular picks in round one, though most players who were drafted as centres will end up as wingers in the NHL.

The OHL is the most popular league to pick from by a mile, with the WHL and SHL trailing behind just close enough to be dots in the OHL’s rear view mirror.

So how did the picks do?

Well, 10 first rounds never played a game for the Maple Leafs at all: Luca Cereda (1999), John Wright (1966), Steve Bancroft (1989), Grant Marshall (1992), Eric Fichaud (1994), Ernie Moser (1969), Landon Wilson (1993), Tyler Biggs (2011), Tuukka Rask (2005), and Timothy Liljegren (2017). Timmy’s got the benefit of the doubt here as he was only drafted last year. The rest were just bad picks or (sigh) bad trades.

Of those who did play, the most successful first round pick was Darryl Sittler (1971), who played 844 games for the Maple Leafs, scoring 389 goals, 527 assists for 916 points. Only four other players put in more than 500 games as a Leaf after being picked in round one: Wendel Clark (1985), Ian Turnbull (1973), John Anderson (1977), and Nik Antropov (1998). Nazem Kadri (2009) is looking to join that group, as he’s only 12 games away from his 500th as a Maple Leaf.

Going to the opposite end of the scale — of those players who played an NHL game for the Maple Leafs, Tom Martin (1965) had the fewest games played at just three. He was drafted from the Toronto Marlboroughs OHA team and played only three games for the Leafs (1 goal) before spending the majority of his career in the minors/WHA.

On average the typical first round pick will play 189 games for the Maple Leafs, score 48 goals, add 73 assists for 121 points. If we only count players who have played games, that number jumps up to 248 games, 60 goals, 92 assists for 151 points.

Here are all of the Maple Leafs first round picks since the NHL Amateur draft began.

Maple Leafs round one picks

Player Postition Draft Year NHL GP Goals Assists Points PM From GAA SV% SO
Player Postition Draft Year NHL GP Goals Assists Points PM From GAA SV% SO
Darryl Sittler C 1971 844 389 527 916 763 OHL
Wendel Clark LW 1985 608 260 181 441 1535 WHL
Ian Turnbull D 1973 590 112 302 414 651 OHL
John Anderson LW 1977 534 189 204 393 166 OHL
Nikolai Antropov C 1998 509 125 166 291 477 Russia Super
Nazem Kadri C 2009 488 145 168 313 344 OHL
Lanny McDonald RW 1973 477 219 240 459 372 WHL
Al Iafrate D 1984 472 81 169 250 546 OHL
Vincent Damphousse C 1986 394 118 211 329 260 QMJHL
Morgan Rielly D 2012 388 31 140 171 89 WHL
Jim Benning D 1981 364 37 136 173 289 WHL
George Ferguson C 1972 359 57 110 167 236 OHL
Luke Schenn D 2008 310 14 61 75 217 WHL
Russ Courtnall RW 1983 309 90 128 218 243 WHL
Luke Richardson D 1987 299 11 39 50 597 OHL
Bob Neely D 1973 261 36 53 89 264 OHL
Alex Steen LW 2002 253 50 76 126 106 SHL
Gary Nylund D 1982 218 7 50 57 376 WHL
Rob Pearson RW 1989 192 49 42 91 458 OHL
Laurie Boschman LW 1979 187 39 70 109 406 WHL
William Nylander C 2014 185 48 87 135 46 SHL
Jack Valiquette C 1974 172 33 66 99 52 OHL
Mitch Marner C 2015 159 41 89 130 64 OHL
Auston Matthews C 2016 144 74 58 132 26 NLA
Don Ashby C 1975 141 26 40 66 34 WHL
Walt McKechnie C 1963 133 32 72 104 22 OHA JrB
Drake Berehowsky D 1990 133 7 28 35 181 OHL
Trevor Johansen D 1977 132 4 21 25 134 OHL
Carlo Colaiacovo D 2001 111 12 21 33 57 OHL
Brad Selwood D 1968 99 6 27 33 71 OHL
Kenny Jonsson D 1993 89 6 29 35 38 SHL
Jiri Tlustly LW 2006 74 10 10 20 14 Czech
Scott Pearson LW 1988 63 5 11 16 114 OHL
Brad Boyes RW 2000 60 8 16 24 12 OHL
Brandon Convery C 1992 50 7 10 17 24 OHL
Frederick Gauthier C 2013 37 3 2 5 23 QMJHL
Scott Thornton C 1989 33 1 3 4 30 OHL
Jeff Ware D 1995 15 0 0 0 6 OHL
Stuart Percy D 2011 12 0 3 3 2 OHL
Tom Martin RW 1965 3 1 0 1 0 Ont. Midget
Luca Cereda C 1999 0 0 0 0 0 NLA
John Wright C 1966 0 0 0 0 0 OHA JrB
Steve Bancroft D 1989 0 0 0 0 0 OHL
Grant Marshall RW 1992 0 0 0 0 0 OHL
Eric Fichaud G 1994 0 0 0 0 0 QMJHL 0 0 0
Timothy Liljegren D 2017 0 0 0 0 0 SHL
Ernie Moser RW 1969 0 0 0 0 0 SJHL
Tuukka Rask G 2005 0 0 0 0 0 SM-Liiga 0 0 0
Landon Wilson RW 1993 0 0 0 0 0 USHL
Tyler Biggs RW 2011 0 0 0 0 0 USNTDP
Information via Hockey Reference, Elite Prospects, and Hockey DB

Thanks for letting my curiosity get into your brains as well. Round two is up tomorrow.