The 2018 NHL Draft begins this Friday and it will be the first one that Kyle Dubas runs as general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
People from all corners of the hockey world, including fans, players and other general managers, will pay close attention to what young Kyle Dubas does in his first draft in charge of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But for Dubas, this will not be such a new experience – with the 2015 draft potentially giving us an insight into how efficient he will operate.
For starters, the 2015 draft has been one of the best for the Maple Leafs organisation in recent memory, with six out of the nine players selected either playing with the Leafs or Toronto Marlies in the AHL.
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Many of the players selected in the 2015 draft will play a role with the Leafs this season, with Marner and Dermott locks for places on the team.
But it wasn’t just the picks that helped the Leafs have such a strong draft; it was the trades that the team made.
Dubas worked alongside Mark Hunter during the 2015 draft, running the phones on trades and helping with deciding which players were selected by the Leafs.
Day One of the draft saw the Leafs make three different trades that had a significant impact on the rest of the proceedings.
The first move saw the Leafs trade away their 24th overall pick, which originally belonged to Nashville, to the Philadelphia Flyers, with the 29th overall and 61st overall being sent the other way.
The 61st overall pick was retained and used to draft Bracco, a right-handed winger who just lifted the Calder Cup with the Marlies.
The second trade saw the Toronto Maple Leafs send the 29th overall pick they received from Philly sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets, who sent Toronto’s original second-rounder (34th overall) and the Flyers’ 68th overall picks the other way.
Dermott and Dzierkals were selected with these two picks.
The final trade saw the Leafs offload left winger Brad Ross and the 107th overall pick to the Edmonton Oilers, in exchange for defenceman Martin Marincin.
Marcincin, whilst not being a standout player, has made 92 regular season appearances for the Maple Leafs and spent the majority of last season playing for the Marlies – picking up a Calder Cup winner’s medal in the process.
The 2015 draft gives us an idea of the willingness that Dubas has to make moves to improve the team.
Some of the picks that were made in that draft look to have positive futures with the Toronto Maple Leafs and could be seen playing regularly for the team next season.
For GMs of other NHL teams, the 2015 draft should serve as notice that Dubas knows what he is doing and will not be taken for a fool. For fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs, it could mean plenty of interesting moves come to fruition this Friday, with the future of the team in confident hands.