Now that the Leafs are back in the first round of the draft (although the ownership of the pick might be temporary) it’s about time we started talking about the draft a bit more. And one of the first things that comes to mind with this years draft is that there is rare opportunity to draft players who will be in the middle of their season, if teams look to the European leagues.
While most North American junior leagues have deferred their start times until December (with the exception of the QMJHL), players are presently reporting to European clubs and in the case of the KHL, they are playing their first games of the year today. It’s a rare opportunity to draft based on their post draft year, what a luxury.
Of course there are issues with this, as NHL teams are loaning players to any European team that will take them, likely bumping top prospects down the lineup or into European Junior leagues, removing the opportunity to see how players match up against veterans. There’s also the fact that if I’m writing about this, there are plenty of NHL teams that …
Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation