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From the Branches: Two days until the draft

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We’ve learned Rodion Amirov has a particularly cute upside.

2015 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Somewhere else in the multiverse, the 2020-2021 NHL season is about to get underway, but here in our sad corner of existence we’re gearing up for the draft. One question—will Kyle Dubas, who found himself with an unexpected first rounder thanks to Pittsburgh and Kasperi Kapanen, choose to keep the pick? Watching the first round of the draft without a first round pick is the hockey equivalent of going to prom with a broken ankle. You put on the nice dress just to go watch all your friends dance without you. On the other hand, if Dubas can leverage a mid-first-rounder into multiple picks, or a trade for someone that would be useful now, today, and not in five years—as Hardev talked about yesterday in our pick for the SBN Mock Draft, anyone the Leafs pick on Tuesday won’t be fully baked yet—I’d happily resign myself to a night of boredom. Patience is overrated. Winning is better.

Speaking of that mock draft, no offense intended to either Hardev or Brigstew’s choice (they based their pick on, like, research, and logic, and stuff), but I have to say—I think that going for William Wallinder over Rodion Amirov was a mistake, for one very big reason. Or, technically, small reason.

High-level offensive tools AND a habit of rescuing stray kittens? Really, the Leafs cannot afford to leave this kid on the board. The use of hockey tickets as bribery for cat pictures is the kind of inspired, creative thinking I want to see in a prospect.

ICYMI

SB Nation Mock Draft 2020: William Wallinder levels up in Toronto - Pension Plan Puppets
We had no choice.

NHL RFA rules: Arbitration, Qualifying Offers and negotiations with no end date - Pension Plan Puppets
The weirdest part of this offseason is the missing final deadline.

Draft Prospect Articles

2020 Draft Prospect Profile : Jan Mysak has a heavy shot and slick playmaking abilities - The Cannon

NHL Mock Draft 2020: Canadiens select Mavrik Bourque with No. 16 pick - Eyes On The Prize
Montreal adds a smart shooter in SB Nation’s annual mock draft.

Chicago Blackhawks’ No. 17 pick in 2020 NHL Draft: Making case for Brendan Brisson - Second City Hockey
The Chicago Steel center is a dynamic playmaker that was the USHL Rookie of the Year.

NHL Mock Draft 2020: Carolina Hurricanes select Yaroslav Askarov with No. 13 pick - Canes Country
Will the Hurricanes select their goalie of the future in the first round?

2020 NHL Draft: Hendrix Lapierre will be one of the biggest gambles - Eyes On The Prize
He’s one of the best playmakers in the draft. Will a team get to see that at the NHL level?

NHL Mock Draft 2020: Florida Panthers select Jack Quinn with No. 12 pick - Litter Box Cats
LBC grabs goal-scorer from the Ottawa 67s

Non-Draft-Related News

Goalie signings: Penguins re-sign Jarry; Flyers bring back Elliott
The Pittsburgh Penguins re-signed restricted free agent Tristan Jarry to a three-year deal on Saturday, while the Flyers re-sign Brian Elliott.

Arizona Coyotes place forward Michael Grabner on buyout waivers - TSN.ca

Poll

Will Dubas keep the 15th overall pick?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Yes
    (190 votes)
  • 23%
    No
    (98 votes)
  • 30%
    It’s 2020, predicting the future is for fools and cowards
    (126 votes)
414 votes total Vote Now