Leafs GM Brad Treliving spoke to the media following the Leafs 2023 NHL Draft where they selected Easton Cowan, Hudson Malinowski, and Noah Chadwick.

Some highlights:

  • Treliving said the Leafs tried to add some picks but said teams were very protective of their selections because the draft was so even and deep from a certain point.
  • They were very happy to get Hudson Malinowski. Hoped they could trade down and get him later, but when it didn't materialize they took him.
  • "Let's call it what it is, we've had no cap growth" on salaries continuing to rise making it harder to keep guys.
  • "We've got a lot of UFAs. We like the players, we haven't found numbers that work right now." Went on to say it's easy to like a player and end up getting to a number that doesn't work.
  • With Kämpf, he played primarily at the 3C spot and he was someone with a number that worked for the Leafs.
  • "Prices are high right now." On a league-wide lack of signings at this point in the summer. Every team has a lot of spots to fill.
  • "Five years ago by July 2nd you can hang the 'gone fishing' sign up."
  • Qualifying offers will come out in the next 24 hours, which will change the current level of free agency.
  • Don't expect any buyouts in the first window. Note, the Leafs have access to the second buyout window because they have arbitration cases (Samsonov, Mete, Hollowell).
  • Treliving is a big fan of Brandon Pridham. Having him here is very important.

Wes Clark also spoke in the second half of that video.

  • Cowan was in the range where they got him and said the Leafs targeted him and are happy to come away with him.
  • On Cowan: "big engine, big motor, relentless, really strong intelligence on and off the puck. Early in his development curve, he's got a long way to go. Started the year with limited minutes. Second half, progression every month, every game, and into the playoffs he really elevated. He's really early in his development curve and has lots of room for development. I think we got a good one.
  • On Cowan and the playoffs: "very similar to Minten, it's a big part of the year and it's important to us when players can elevate in big moments."
  • On Malinowski: "our area guys Darren Ritchie and Garth Malarchuk were really passionate about him and really happy to walk away with him. He's going to Providence and he's got a long runway here, so we like him.
  • On Chadwick: "he's long, he can move the puck, another upside guy that we can see what he can do there in Lethbridge. Checks a lot of boxes for us."
  • Back to Cowan after a question about taking him where they did: "some people may think we reached, but part of our job is to collect intel and we knew a number of teams behind us had him high on our boards. He was our guy and we took him."

Sheldon Keefe also spoke to the media at the Draft, mostly about the process he and Treliving went through before the decision was made to keep him on.