Stealing this idea that I saw or heard recently — maybe Twitter? Radio? Can’t remember, but I’m shamelessly stealing it anyways so I don’t have to talk about Mitch fucking Marner again.

Can you make a competitive Leafs’ lineup ONLY using players the Leafs have drafted? That means no trades, no free agent signings, not even college or European free agent signings.

For the record, I am looking at Hockey DB’s page for the Leafs that shows draft picks by season. You can mix your lines or pairings how you want, I was mostly putting together the best from the top down. I’m also going to TRY and only use players active in the NHL, but we’ll see how that goes.

The Forwards:

Andreas Johnsson — Auston Matthews — William Nylander

Alex Steen — Nazem Kadri — Mitch Marner

Josh Leivo — Greg McKegg — Connor Brown

Leo Komarov — Frederk Gauthier — Carl Grundstrom

Honourable mentions: Brooks, Bracco, Engvall, Korshkov, Gauthier.

Starts off alright, doesn’t it? They still have some pretty incredible young talent at the top of the lineup with the big three and Kadri. After that... there’s a bit of a drop off. There are some meh-quality guys like Brown and Leivo, some older faces in Alex Steen and Leo Komarov, and then some younger guys who are just starting to break into the NHL in Grundstrom... and then Gauthier.

The center depth is a biiiiiiiiiig problem. McKegg has more NHL experience than Gauthier and is also better, but you could convince me to try Engvall or hell maybe even Brooks there instead. I’d have to break my “NHL active” rule, which Grundstrom narrowly beats out having been called up to the NHL to end last season.

The Defense:

Morgan Rielly — Anton Stralman

Travis Dermott — Greg Pateryn

Carl Gunnarsson — Timothy Liljegren

Honourable mentions: Sandin, Lindgren, Schenn, Holzer

Weird how the defense looks to be in much better shape than the forwards, given the reverse problem the Leafs have in reality.

Rielly and Dermott are still around as our top two left-shot defensemen. Then we have the one that got away in Stralman, who might be getting up there but still something to offer. Then there’s our old reliable Swedish mule in Gunnarsson and a lesser “one that got away” in Greg Pateryn. There isn’t much in the way of experienced NHLers after that.

I take one look at Holzer or Schenn and make the executive decision to break my “only NHL active” rule to go with Liljegren as at least a prospect on the cup. I’m calling it like the proximity rule in baseball.

The Goalies:

Tuukka Rask

James Reimer

Honourable mentions: Sparks, Woll, Scott

That’s much better! Rask showed in the playoffs that he can still carry a team through the playoffs. Reimer is an NHL capable backup. Sparks is there if he isn’t, with the two Leafs’ current goalie prospects waiting in the wings.

If I missed anyone or if you would swap in some guys, let me know in the comments!

How competitive would a Leafs-draft-picks-only team be?

Cup contender39
Win a playoff round or two261
Just make the playoffs as a wild card team329
Miss the playoffs119

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Nick Robertson has earned his way to Team USA’s top line in the WJSS, and he’s showing off some bulldog mentality but also some sliiiiiick moves.

Sigh... guess we’ll touch on some Marner related stuff.


There was some big news around the league. First, the Sens and Lightning swung a trade:

Then, Wild GM Paul Fenton was fired after barely more than one season.

Lesser news:

Yeah, cause the IsLOLeanders are so deep on skilled forwards...

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