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From the Branches: Draft Day is finally here

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By the end of the night, the Maple Leafs will have a new prospect.

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

The leaves are turning colors, my neighbors have started randomly decorating their porches with attractively lumpy gourds, and the 2020 NHL Draft has finally arrived! Alexis Lafrenière excepted, these poor kids have had to wait around the whole summer to have a bunch of hockey executives determine their future, so I for one am excited to get things over with. There are a lot of things that are going to be bizarre about tonight, not in the least of which is the virtual aspect. The Maple Leafs are apparently planning to set their draft table up in the home dressing room at Scotiabank Center, which seems as fine of a backdrop as any, although the part of me that loves chaos kind of wants them to do this out of Kyle Dubas’s living room. You know, for the socially distanced aesthetic.

Around the league, everyone else spent draft-day eve (I like that, can we make that a thing?) shuffling around their rosters and doing basic housekeeping looking ahead to the opening of free agency on Friday. The Minnesota Wild and San Jose Sharks executed two separate trades yesterday, both of which were the Wild sending a player (Ryan Donato, Devan Dubnyk) to the Sharks for picks (and, in the case of Dubnyk, the Wild retained salary). The Pittsburgh Penguins bought out Jack Johnson, which we all knew was coming since the day they signed Jack Johnson. Matt Niskanen announced that he’s retiring, because covid-19 is emotional hell on us all.

The Leafs also brought Jason Spezza back on a one-year deal! So that’s very nice.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas meets the press on draft-day eve - Pension Plan Puppets
He hits all the expected notes in his answers to questions.

Toronto Maple Leafs first round picks: 15th to First - Pension Plan Puppets
With the 2020 NHL draft beginning tomorrow, we’re going to take some time this morning to look through the Toronto Maple Leafs draft history in the top half of the first round.

2020 NHL Draft Roundtable: Who should the Leafs take? - Pension Plan Puppets
We gush over our favourite prospects the Leafs should take

NHL Entry Draft: Is Yaroslav Askarov the only goalie in the world? - Pension Plan Puppets
Or are there others in the draft?

Welcome back to the Maple Leafs, Jason Spezza - Pension Plan Puppets
Maple Leafs re-sign the team dad.

Draft Stuff

Down Goes Brown: Remembering five of history’s weirdest draft classes

2020 NHL Entry Draft: Notable Dallas Stars Targets For Rounds 4-6 - Defending Big D
With enough hard work and a little bit of luck, hidden gems can be found in every round of the draft

2020 NHL Draft, being held virtually, could see other firsts
The 2020 NHL Draft is guaranteed to be unlike any other.

Mirtle: What Leafs GM Kyle Dubas said — and what he meant — before the draft – The Athletic
The Maple Leafs are pretty serious about their team being harder to play against next season.

News Around The League

Bib McKenzie casually dropping big news in the middle of the night:

Sharks acquire goaltender Devan Dubnyk from Wild - Fear The Fin
In two trades with the Wild today, the Sharks have sent just draft picks back to Minnesota.

Sharks acquire Ryan Donato from Wild - Fear The Fin
The young forward will likely slot into the Sharks’ middle-six.

Flyers re-sign Braun to extension in light of Niskanen’s expected retirement - Broad Street Hockey
A major turn of events has drastically changed the Flyers’ offseason plans.

End of an error: Penguins cut ties with expensive mistake that will linger for ages - PensBurgh
The Jack Johnson contract was awful since before it was signed. The team still did it, and now take a six year dead cap hit because of it

Uncertainty Surrounding COVID-19 Led to Matt Niskanen's Retire - The Hockey News on Sports Illustrated
It wasn't that Matt Niskanen didn't want to play hockey anymore, it was the prospect of preparing for another NHL season that is shrouded in uncertainty that caused him to walk away, said his agent.

Poll

Who will the Maple Leafs take with the 15th pick?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Rodion Amirov
    (24 votes)
  • 15%
    Hendrix Lapierre
    (31 votes)
  • 7%
    Dylan Holloway
    (15 votes)
  • 14%
    Seth Jarvis
    (29 votes)
  • 4%
    Dawson Mercer
    (10 votes)
  • 10%
    Somebody else (sell us on your superlative choice in the comments)
    (22 votes)
  • 35%
    No one, he will trade away the pick entirely to fuck with us
    (71 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now