The time between the final game and the draft is usually quiet, but not in the Leafs recent history.
After the loss to the Boston Bruins two weeks ago, the Toronto Maple Leafs players have dispersed to their homes, hospitals, and national teams, but the front office is still hard at work preparing for the draft, watching the Toronto Marlies playoff run, and reviewing the season to prep for any changes that may come.
The NHL draft is coming up on June 21st, and usually that’s the day the big changes begin, but the Maple Leafs haven’t always waited for the draft to start trading players and their most recent moves have seen them add big parts of this team in the lull between playoffs and the draft.
The Leafs grabbed a starter in the week leading up to the draft, in the most controversial goalie move the Leafs would make until they overplayed Andersen for three straight season.
Bernier would play 151 games for the Leafs, putting up a .915sv%, 2.81GAA, and 6 shutouts. Ben Scrivens would last half the season with the Kings before being traded to the Oilers for a third round pick. Matt Frattin wouldn’t last long with LA either before being included in the trade package to Columbus for Marian Gaborik.
The 2nd round pick is a fun story. It would go to LA in the Bernier deal, then be traded to the Blue Jackets in the Gaborik trade, and then come back to Toronto along with a 3rd round pick (Martins Dzierkals) in exchange for the Lightning’s 2015 1st round pick (Gabriel Carlsson). That second round pick came back to Toronto just in time for them to draft Travis Dermott.
The Leafs picked up an NCAA player who wasn’t going to sign with the Panthers and sent off a 2010 third round pick who wasn’t going to make the team after five years in the prospect pool.
Zach Hyman has become a reliable player on the Leafs, playing on the penalty kill (where he shows off his faceoff prowess) and a mainstay on the top two lines, usually riding on Matthews’ wing until this season. McKegg would go from the Panthers to a free agent signing for the Penguins, and then traded to the Hurricanes where he’s currently playing.
The 7th round pick condition was that the pick went to Toronto if Hyman did not sign with the Leafs, but he did so Florida kept the pick and traded it to Boston for a 2016 7th rounder. The Bruins would take Victor Berglund with the pick.
Just ahead of the 2016 draft, the Maple Leafs brought in a new starting goaltender, shipping out previous pre-draft trade acquisition Jonathan Bernier to the Ducks after his July 1st bonus was paid. The picks the Maple Leafs sent the Ducks became Sam Steel (2016 1st, 22 NHLGP – 6G – 5A) and Maxime Comtois (2017 2nd, 10 NHLGP – 2G – 5A).
Andersen has been the Leafs starter since the trade, playing 192 games for the team and putting up a .918sv%, 2.59GAA, and 10 shutouts.
Zach Hyman and Frederik Andersen are two key players on this Leafs team and their paths to the Maple Leafs both came in the quiet season between the Leafs final game and the draft. After this year’s elimination by the Bruins, many people are looking at this team and what changes can be made.
The window is open to start making the moves you want. Will Kyle Dubas wait for the draft or start the process earlier?