Toronto Maple Leafs: 2018 NHL Draft Player Rankings

BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 4: Rasmus Dahlin
BUFFALO, NY - JANUARY 4: Rasmus Dahlin /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
CHICAGO, IL – JUNE 23: A general view as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman speaks to the crowd during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 23, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Sliding a bit

Average Ranking: 20.25

"“A creative player with the puck who can dart in and out of the lanes with expert edgework, quick acceleration and creative lines. Slight stature but enjoys engaging. Lack of exposure may see him slide on draft day, but it won’t be due to a lack of skill.” (Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects)"

Last year, Klim Kostin was the Russian who scouts believed would slide because of the classic “Russian Factor”.

Denisenko seems to be this year’s iteration of that. Although he and Kostin are different sizes and play different styles.

Playing in the lower levels of Russian hockey for Loko Yaroslavl of the MHL, Denisenko has 14 points in 23 games this season.

Average Ranking: 21.5

"“Alert and versatile forward with good speed and a wide range of attributes who has performed well beyond expectations as a 17-year-old playing key minutes in Finland’s top league. Kotkaniemi comes across as a smart, clean player with or without the puck and can play either center or wing. He is used on the penalty kill and in late-game situations, showing defensive prowess regardless of the job he’s assigned.” (Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst)"

Kotkaniemi came onto the scene with his solid performance at the 2017 World U-18 Championships with Finland. He finished the tourney with a goal and five assists in seven games.

He has played the entire season for Ässät at only 17-years-old. Kotkaniemi’s 22 points in 45 games put him fourth in team scoring on the year.