The Toronto MapleLeafs will find themselves in an unfamiliar position come draft day.
This is the lowest the Toronto Maple Leafs will pick since 2010, when they selected Brad Ross 42nd overall. After turning a corner, they now hold the 25th overall pick in the draft, but they can do more than you may think with it.
There has been a lot of speculation about the Leafs trading down their pick. By this, I mean trading their 25th overall selection for lower picks and perhaps players.
It’s a relatively common move utilized by teams in an attempt to go for quantity over quality. The general idea is that a team gains assets and more chances at striking gold in the draft. In addition, many teams have a draft target that they believe will fall to a lower spot, so there’s no need to use a higher pick.
Dubas is known to be open to the thought of trading down. In fact, a story recently resurfaced regarding a potential trade of which he was the headman . Allegedly, in the 2015 draft Kyle Dubas organized a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Leafs would have sent the fourth overall pick to Columbus. The return was to be the Blue Jackets’ 8th overall pick and three second round picks. This was so the Leafs would be able to draft one of Provorov or Werenski. Then, one of the second round picks could have been used on a player such as Sebastian Aho, like many rumors are stating.
Would It Make Sense?
This year’s draft is expected to be relatively deep. With that comes unpredictable picks and disparity in draft rankings. This makes it a perfect time to trade down.
Though not the best best strategy, for the sake of argument, assume the Leafs are looking to draft positional for defense and a second round pick is included in the deal. If so, there are plenty of options.
Centre is also an area of need for the Leafs and could yield Ryan McLeod, Aidan Dudas, or Liam Foudy
Of course the availability is up in the air depending on how teams and scouts rank these players.
Miles Hoaken has developed a great tool to determine how effective trading down is. “Pick Flipper” allows you to input the picks you want to trade and provides you with an estimated gained value. It then shows the likelihood of drafting a high end player, and other players that have been drafted with that value. Below is an example of how it works where I’ve inputted a trade that deals the Leafs’ first round pick in exchange for a second and a third. It’s an interesting tool and I recommend playing around with it.
As you can see, it shows the Leafs gain value. This is essentially because acquiring more picks gives you a higher chance at drafting a good player. It’s relatively simple logic provided the picks are of somewhat decent quality. Of course you may feel the picks I’ve used are unreasonable and I may be inclined to agree. It all depends on the needs and desires of the trade partner.