TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs put together a season that most NHL cities would be proud of, but playing in Toronto won’t afford them this luxury.
One thing that can be said for the franchise is that the future seems to be shining brightly through both free-agency possibilities and the upcoming draft.
General Manager Brian Burke discussed his plans for the Entry Draft in Minnesota on June 24-25 at the team’s year-end press conference on Tuesday.
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With 11 total picks in this year’s draft including three in the first two rounds, Burke talked about potentially moving up in the draft by trading those picks.
“We are willing to entertain options to move up for two of those picks but we will pick twice,” Burke said. “We can trade one of the firsts and our second or the other first and second to move up and pick higher in the first round.”
The Leafs original first-round pick will be given to Boston as the final piece of the Phil Kessel trade. Burke managed to acquire a first round pick from Boston and Philadelphia in trades for Tomas Kaberle and Kris Versteeg.
As Burke said, these two first-rounders along with the Leafs original second-round pick give the team some maneuverability for the NHL draft.
This year’s draft does not have a bonafide No. 1 lock unlike past years. According to experts and scouts, there will be several big names left after the top 15 for the Leafs to look at.
The overall depth of the draft will be beneficial to the Leafs and Burke, who made it clear the team’s initial choice is to use both of the first-round picks.
The Leafs 11 picks in the draft are two firsts, one second, one third, two fourths, one fifth, three sixths and one seventh.