Morning Mashup: Where does the luck of the Oilers leave the Leafs?


Photo: OHL Images

There you have it folks, the Edmonton Oilers will make their third consecutive first overall pick at the June Entry Draft in Pittsburgh. We’re all red with rage (especially that Columbus fan) and rightfully so, but the real question here is – what are the draft implications for the Leafs?

They say monetary bills stick to each other and that money falls into money. The rich get richer and the poor have to wait to see who the rich will draft. Provided the Leafs don’t move up, if the rich draft a forward, how will that impact our chances of drafting Galchenyuk?

A valid question. It’s possible that the Oilers in fact trade that pick and move down to pick one of either Matthew Dumba or Ryan Murray, although it’s fairly early to make that assumption. What we know for sure is that the NHL once again rewarded a franchise for failing to improve, even after two first overall draft selections in a row.

If they do pick at the one spot and presumably take Yakupov, it could severely damage our chances to draft Galchenyuk. Imagine if you will, a strutting Tambellini. He goes up on the draft floor and says: “We are proud (they aren’t really) to select Nail Yakupov from the Sarnia Sting.” Of course, this could then mean that Galchenyuk will be gone by the time the Leafs‘ pick rolls around given we are at the five-spot and all other teams ahead of the Blue and White are equally looking for future impact forwards.

Maybe Burke moves up to the No. 1 spot. The Oilers are still a prime candidate for that, seeing as how they still require major additions to the defence core. Only difference is, their pick becomes more valuable now with Yakupov being a sure first overall pick according to the vast majority of scouts. If he’s the clear cut No. 1 pick, the pick holds more value than it would otherwise. Still, moving down to the fifth spot and a good little package by Burke might just get it done.

The more I think about it, us losing Galchenyuk wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. From what I’ve seen of the kid, he really has all the tools to be a future NHL player, and not just any player. But Burke will tell you time and again he takes the best player available position be damned, and Galchenyuk is not the only talent potentially available at the five spot. A kid like Ryan Murray has effortless stride and smooth skating ability. His hockey IQ is really high, probably one of the highest I’ve seen at a D-man his age. So his numbers aren’t mind boggling… We should be more interested in his raw skillset which includes smart decisions with the puck, mature play and solid D zone play. To me, this kid looks like a can’t miss prospect with a lot of attributes you saw in Brian Rafalski or dare I say Scott Niedermayer. Murray is a player I’ve paid considerable attention to, he could be the real deal.

So, don’t despair Leafs Nation. At 8.1% it’s not like we were winning the lottery. Only time will tell how the picks shake down and doubly so for these players’ futures at the NHL level. Who knows, the Oilers winning might have actually done us a favour.



A transcript of the state of the Leafs address yesterday
“I watch GMs get up there the first day and say we have a five year plan, I don’t’ respect that. My view was I was hopeful we could do it quicker, we haven’t, but I haven’t changed the plan, the Phil Kessel deal, we gave up too many picks, we have more first round picks than anyone else in the NHL. It’s a young group, we haven’t gone old, we haven’t tried to Band-Aid things, but yes, it’s very difficult.”

The Nightmare in Net
nhlcheapshot breaks down each team’s goaltending situation and looks at the difficulty of getting consistently great goaltending.

The Leaf corporate apology and year-end apology. Many words but…
From Michael Langlois at VLM.

Brian Burke Cares
Great point by PPP over at The Leafs Nation. Burke seemed far less pleased to be sitting at the lottery table than his four colleagues. Couldn’t help but notice how physically drained and emotionally gutted he looked after the experience of the last two months. He’s even more disappointed than you are, Leafs fans.

Playoff hockey starts tonight!
Philly/Pittsburgh on TSN at 7:30 p.m. EST, Nashville/Detroit on CBC at 8 p.m., followed by LA/Vancouver on CBC at 10:30.