Rodion Amirov has been picked, what’s next for the Leafs? – TheLeafsNation

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Tonight was a little straight forward. The Leafs showed up. Picked when they were supposed to. They continued to prioritize skill above all else and selected a talented young player who already has 5 points in 10 games in the KHL this season, and then literally nothing else happened Leafs related for the rest of the draft. Of course, we might start getting more out of the insiders tonight and we’ll wake up to a whole new set of rumours tomorrow.

Kyle Dubas met with members of the Toronto media following the draft. Here are a few of the highlights of that conversation.

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Since this is the biggest piece of news out of the press conference we’ll start with that. Unfortunately a cheap deal couldn’t be found for Rodrigues and he’ll hit free agency. Not really a loss for the Leafs, and potentially they can come back around and get something done, but Rodrigues’ will join the elite company of Nathan Horton as players who will be unrestricted free agents for the Leafs this offseason despite never playing a game for the team.

Fast winger that scores. That’s not a bad at all. Maybe Amirov will grow 4 inches this year and everyone in Leafs nation can be happy.

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Well, that’s certainly something. If it was trades for immediate help, maybe that’s something the Leafs revisit in the coming days. If it was a trade down situation, well, the Leafs will have to settle for a good prospect as their consolation to that.

The Leafs have Barabanov, Abramov, Korshkov, and Mikheyev as Russian players in their system. It’s likely that Abramov will be with the Marlies next year, and that presents an opportunity for the two young Russians to enter pro North American hockey together, with a bit of a support system on the Leafs main roster. Given the fact the KHL is playing and Amirov is doing well there, having him in Russia for the season isn’t a bad thing at all, and expecting him to try for a NHL job this year would have been unnecessary anyway.

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Well, that’s a lot of nothing, but if you want some mild intrigue, there you go.

Not that my draft rankings are particularly good or worth referencing, but they illustrate a quick point, and that is there are some good players still available and the Leafs could land a solid player in the 2nd round.

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The Leafs have 10 picks to make tomorrow. They’ve got their pick at 44th overall, but then go silent until the 4th round. Of course, the Leafs have been pretty productive in the late rounds in the past couple of seasons, and things will get interesting.

As for ideal targets for the Leafs tomorrow, Jan Mysak and Helge Grans are probably the two most intriguing names, despite my rankings. Grans has the ability to be a future solid defensive defenseman for the Leafs, and Mysak is likely the highest regarded offensive talent in the draft. If you are interested in goaltenders, Blomqvist and Daws are names to keep an eye on, but arguably the Leafs can do better than them in the 2nd round.

It will be a long day of draft coverage tomorrow, starting at 11:30 AM ET and you it will be televised on Sportsnet One in Canada and the NHL Network in the United States.

Maple Leafs select Rodion Amirov 15th overall

The Leafs Nation Guide to Draft Day