Ahead of the draft, I was of the belief that the Leafs should be targeting more NHL projectability with their early picks rather than just swinging on higher upside prospects who provided less certainty in their overall projections. Last year’s selection of Matt Knies in the second round – a player with a relatively safe floor who still possessed some offensive upside – was a step in that direction, and the early returns have certainly exceeded expectations.
The Leafs went in a similar direction with their first pick of the 2022 draft after trading out of the first round, and while it was a bit of a reach in relation to most public draft rankings, the selection of Fraser Minten at 38th overall also offered an intriguing balance of potential and projectability.
One of the youngest players in the draft, Minten was a bit of a late riser in the lead-up to the draft, at least in terms of the buzz surrounding his name. Still, he went off the board much earlier than many were expecting, and the Leafs stood pat to select him rather than taking the chance and trading down again, illustrating the organization’s belief in the player.
Given Minten’s age, his already solid base of skills, and the fact that he has only been playing high-level hockey for a relatively short time, Kyle Dubas and the rest of the Leafs’ front office belie …
Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation