As the Toronto Maple Leafs went on the clock at 38th overall last Friday, anticipation was high to see who the newest prospect added to the system would be. When the pick was announced to be WHL centre Fraser Minten, that anticipation turned into a slightly underwhelming reaction.
Minten was a prospect that wasn’t particularly on my radar, often landing in the late second to the early third round on public rankings. As the Maple Leafs didn’t have a pick in this range, I honed in on other prospects ranked closer to their original selection at 25th overall and a bit later in the third round.
Minten was a reach in this spot relative to public rankings, landing in the 74th slot on the consolidated board, but was taken only slightly ahead of where Bob McKenzie had him on his list.
At first glance, Minten comes across as a “safe” pick that fills an organizational need, a player that projects as a defensively responsible bottom-six centre with limited upside beyond that.
Digging into the numbers and watching some of his tape, however, reveals a prospect that has a solid base of tools to build upon that could have untapped higher potential, a sentiment that is clearly shared by the Maple Leafs in selecting Minten in the top 40 and through comments from GM Kyle Dubas following the draft.
Minten is regarded as a responsible, two-way centre, and that checks out in the data available through Pick 224.
Playing on a strong Kamloops team, Minten still managed to carve out a role as a middle-six centre and post positive results relative to his team. When Minten was on the ice at even strength, Kamloops scored 63.9 per cent of the goals, 2.4 per cent better than when he was off the ice.
Among draft-eligible players in the WHL that played more than 13 minutes per game, only first-round picks Matt Savoie, Conor G …
Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation