By GeoFitz (@geofitz4)
The NHL draft is a time for wild speculation combined with reasoned research. The main followers of prospects have put out their prospect lists, as you can see from our own consolidated listed here. It’s a time where fans get to dream of what might be for their favorite team. For you Maple Leafs fans, I know you’re all excited to see the possibilities of who they might take in the first round of the draft.
So, to whet your appetite and maybe spur up some debate, I’ve gathered up a variety of Mock Drafts to give you an idea of who might be putting on a Maple Leafs ball cap in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft. Some of these Mock Drafts have changed, particularly since the Leafs traded one of their first round picks for goaltender Frederik Andersen and are left with only a single first round selection.
With the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select Auston Matthews. Matthews is a future franchise center. He is an Arizona native and spent last season playing in Switzerland. He is a rare breed in being able to do that as he just missed the birthday cut off for the 2015 NHL Entry draft by just a handful of days. With his unusual path to the draft, he’ll be able to start immediately with the Maple Leafs or the Marlies in the fall.
With the number one pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs select American center Auston Matthews. After choosing to forego playing in the USHL, CHL, or NCAA, Matthews played for the ZSC Lions of the Swiss NLA. The Swiss league is one of the better leagues in Europe and presented plenty of challenge for young Matthews as he developed his all around game. He should be a number one center for years to come. It’s a pretty good bet that he’ll be donning blue and white come October and the beginning of the season.
The Toronto Maple Leafs will lead off the 2016 NHL Entry Draft by selecting Arizona native Auston Matthews. He has a really good chance of donning the blue and white for the Marlies and may even make the Maple Leafs roster out of training camp. A good all around center, he should fit in well with the young forward talent the Maple Leafs have already assembled.
6’2″ centerman Auston Matthews is the first overall pick by the Toronto Maple Leafs. This amazing young American gives the Maple Leafs their first franchise centerman since… Sundin? Or am I missing someone? Pretty sure I’m not. Sounds like he’ll make the cut there. He played for Zurich last season and Europe and put up 46 points in 36 games. He also had 11 points for Team USA in the World Junior Championship and 9 points in the World Championship. Get ready for that excitement.
Big centerman Auston Matthews makes his way to the stage as his name is called first in the draft. The young American player with fit in well in Toronto. One thing is clear though, he will need to buy a new winter coat when he moves to Toronto after having grown up in the desserts of Arizona. He has size and skill and gives the Maple Leafs their first franchise center in eons. Time will tell if he lives up to the hype.
The dirty Boston media projects that the Maple Leafs will hand a blue and white cap to none other than Auston Matthews in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Leafs fans should be excited to have a pivot that will fit in well with the other talent that the new, more capable management has collected. There’s still a question of if they’ll figure out the other end of the rink. But for now, they should be able to run and gun and pray with all of this skill running around the ice.
And with the first overall pick, Toronto selects Auston Matthews, center, Zurich Lions. Yes, you heard that right. Mike Morreale of NHL.com has projected the Maple Leafs selecting Auston Matthews from the Swiss NLA. He grew up in Arizona and had a marvelous season playing against men in Switzerland. He should be ready to step in to the Marlies line up immediately and should score well over a point per game in the AHL. He could even push for two points per game as the Marlies make another attempt to win the Calder Cup after falling well short this season.
How long has it been since the Maple Leafs had a franchise centerman? Well, now’s there chance as they’ll have the opportunity to pick Auston Matthews with their first round pick. Imagine that, a franchise centerman falling to Toronto. At 6’2″, he has good size to go with William Nylander, Nazim Kadri, and others on the front end of the Maple Leafs line up.
Well as you can see, the possibilities are endless for what the Toronto Maple Leafs could do in the first round with their pick. What do you think they’ll do with the pick? Let us know in the comments.