One of the key components to rebuilding is drafting well. There are a lot of ways to pick up good players to make your team better - trades, free agency - but the draft is particularly crucial. Not only can draft picks form the foundation of a team, but a team gets more control over the player: from entry-level contracts to RFA years.
Nazem Kadri scored the third hat trick of his career en route to the Maple Leafs' 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers - and he's the only recently drafted Leaf to actually get three in one game. Via Elias Sports Bureau, Inc.:
Kadri, who was Toronto's first-round pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, is the only Maple Leafs draftee to produce a hat trick for the Leafs over the last eight seasons. Toronto's other hat tricks since 2008-09 were all by players acquired by the Maple Leafs in a trade or signed as a free agent: Jason Blake, Boyd Devereaux, Niklas Hagman, Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak.
We could probably add an asterisk to Bozak's name, as the Leafs got first crack at him, and he's never played for any other NHL teams. But still, Elias' point remains: Kadri is the only Leaf since he was drafted to score a hat trick for the team that drafted him.
With players like William Nylander and Mitch Marner either coming into the fold or about to, hopefully, that will change soon. It is kind of a reflection on part of the reason why the Leafs are where they are right now, though.