Selected in the third round of the 2022 NHL Draft out of Chicago in the USHL, Nick Moldenhauer is a player who Toronto’s front office was plenty familiar with even before they drafted him. The Leafs’ connection to the Chicago Steel has been well documented; they drafted Nick Abruzzese out of that program in 2019, 2020 sixth-rounder Joe Miller has spent the last two seasons with the club, former Leafs scout Noelle Needham is now an associate GM for the Steel, and Toronto’s assistant GM Ryan Hardy honed his craft as Chicago’s general manager for three seasons before joining the Leafs.
That familiarity likely played a big part in the organization’s comfort level in selecting a player who had a productive but difficult season. Moldenhauer missed the beginning of the season with a “mono-like” virus that forced him to spend time in the hospital, leading to significant weight loss. Already behind the eight ball following his recovery from that illness, the Mississauga native was dealt another devastating and nearly life altering blow. On his first shift of the season, he was clipped up high with a skate blade and suffered a gash that ran from his chin to his ear. He underwent surge …
Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation