Toronto Maple Leafs: 10 Storylines Heading Into the Draft and Offseason

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2. Will the Team Keep the Fourth Overall Pick?

Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; William Nylander poses for a photo with team officials after being selected as the number eight overall pick to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If a team owns a top five pick, they are likely not going to move that pick unless they have a chance to move up or they get blown away with a trade offer. There have only been two occurrences where a team traded a top five pick at the draft. One was in 2008, when the St. Louis Blues traded their first round pick to the Atlanta Thrashers in a deal that sent Keith Tkachuk back to St. Louis after a short stint with the Thrashers. In fairness to the Blues, that trade was made in 2007 and if they had known the first rounder was in the top three, they would have kept it – the Thrashers selected Zach Bogosian with that pick.

Apr 3, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) prepares to face the St. Louis Blues at the American Airlines Center. The Blues defeat the Stars 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The other occurrence was back in 2010. A lot of Leafs fans remember that day on June 25, when Tyler Seguin‘s name was announced by the Boston Bruins, who received the number two pick overall after one of the most debated trades in Leafs history. Like St. Louis, if the Leafs knew they were going to be in that position, they would rethink the Kessel trade even though Brian Burke says he never regretted that trade.

Jun 27, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; A general view of the complete draft board after the completion of the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I expect the Leafs to keep that pick and will have their choice of the following players: Dylan Strome (although many believe Arizona is going to take him), Mitch Marner, Noah Hanifin, and Ivan Provorov.  I think the Leafs will go with either Hanifin or Provorov, because they do need a defenceman. However, it would not surprise me to see Marner selected, given the potential he has. The history of fourth overall picks over the years is pretty good, so the Leafs do have a good reason to hold onto this pick. You can read a preview for each pick here.

4th Overall NHL Draft Picks
Year Player Pos. Drafted From Drafted By
2013 Seth Jones D Portland (WHL) Nashville Predators
2012 Griffin Reinhart D Edmonton (WHL) New York Islanders
2011 Adam Larsson D Skelleftea AIK (Swe) New Jersey Devils
2010 Ryan Johansen C Portland (WHL) Columbus Blue Jackets
2009 Evander Kane C Vancouver (WHL) Atlanta Thrashers
2008 Alex Pietrangelo D Niagara (OHL) St. Louis Blues
2007 Thomas Hickey D Seattle (WHL) Los Angeles Kings
2006 Nicklas Backstrom C Brynas (Swe) Washington Capitals
2005 Benoit Pouliot LW Sudbury Wolves (OHL) Minnesota Wild