by S. Ferguson
Looking back at the selections made by the Toronto Maple Leafs
So far we have seen that 2011 was almost a complete bust, while 2012 added one franchise player. While I am still afraid about what we will find as we keep going, I have actually written about 2013 a little already when I tracked down Frederik Gauthier and lamented that we had drafted Carter Verhaeghe who is now a key member of the Florida Panthers team that knocked us out of the playoffs.
The 2013 Draft
This draft was unreal. Many of the top 10 picks are still among the league’s best. First overall was Nathan MacKinnon, then Alexsander Barkov. Seth Jones was number 4, Elias Lindholm was 5, Bo Horvat was 9, and Josh Morrissey was 13. Almost everyone hit on their high picks, unfortunately we did not have a top pick.
Instead we chose Frederik Gauthier with the 21st pick overall. Gauthier was always a very good fourth line centre. But that isn’t what you should be looking for in the first round. He stayed in the league for a while playing 178 games. He now plays in Switzerland.
Who we could have had:
The talent did dry up in this draft. Teams only hit on 3 of the next ten picks so maybe we didn’t do so bad, but we passed on Andre Burakovsky, Ryan Hartman, and Shea Theodore. Yeah, Theodore who looks great on the blue line for the Vegas Golden Knights.
We had Carter Verhaeghe?!?!
Yes we chose Verhaeghe in the third round with the 82nd pick. He played exactly 2 games with the Marlies and zero games with the Leafs. We traded him for Michael Grabner who played one season for the Leafs and scored 9 goals. Verhaeghe has won a Stanley Cup with Tampa, and has scored 93 goals in the regular season. And this year he has scored many key goals for the Florida Panthers like this OT winner in the Stanley Cup Final.
Our best pick
Our very last pick at 202nd overall, was Andreas Johnsson which is incredible value at that stage in the draft. Johnsson was the playoff MVP for the Toronto Marlies when they won the Calder Cup in 2018.
Johnsson then got the call up and scored 20 goals in his first full season as a Leaf. We ended up trading him for Joey Anderson, who was then part of the deal that brought Sam Lafferty and Jake McCabe here at the trade deadline. Johnsson is now an unrestricted free agent.
The other really interesting pick in this draft was when we chose Antoine Bibeau in the sixth round. Granted most sixth rounders have a tough time making the NHL but Bibeau was an outstanding junior goalie who played in a Memorial Cup. He is still playing and is with the Belleville Senators of the AHL so maybe it will still happen for him, but to this point he has only played 4 NHL games.