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Leafs fan Matthew Finn dons blue and white.

Matthew Finn was a solid point producer and all-around defenceman for the Guelph Storm.

Pittsburgh – Matthew Finn has gone from a bud to a Leaf.

A member of the Leafs Buds Club when he was a kid living in Etobicoke, Finn was the Leafs second round choice, 35th overall at the NHL draft.

A six-foot, 195-pound left defenceman, Finn had been rated a mid first-round pick. Finn scored ten goals and added 38 points with the Guelph Storm.

Former Carlo Colaiacovo is Finn’s second cousin and until last year Finn kept posters ...

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Leafs grab another defenceman in Morgan Rielly.

The Leafs made Moose Jaw Warrior defenceman Morgan Rielly their first pick, fifth overall.

Pittsburgh – Morgan Rielly wants to get one thing straight.

“I learned in school it was I before E,” he told his first ever-big league press-conference. “I always thought I had it right.”

I before E it is.

Rielly, a six-foot, 190-pound defenceman with the Moose Jaw Warriors adds to an already stacked position. The Maple Leafs hope to graduate Korbinian Holzer from the Marlies to the big club this fall. Jesse Blacker will enter his sophomore season with ...

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Brian Burke and the golden moment: an essay.

Is this Brian Burke’s moment?

Every great team is built on one or two spectacular decisions perched atop countless years of smaller ones.

For the champion Los Angeles Kings, the future crystallized in the acquisition of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

For the Boston Bruins it was the free agent signing of  Zdeno Chara. Brian Burke’s bold move to draft the Sedin twins provided the Vancouver Canucks with an elite cornerstone tandem. The Rangers made the jump when they signed Brad Richards.

For the first time in his tenure, the general manager of the ...

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Alex Galchenyuk could be the Cadillac of hybrids.

I’d take the guy on the left.

I think Alex Galchenyuk is the guy.

If he is there at five, I think the Maple Leafs draft him.

As one hockey guy put it, just because Nail Yakupov was bestowed the title as the number one guy doesn’t necessarily means he deserves it.

Wish I could say I gleaned this intel from the Leafs brass. Seems they have more important things to do than tell me their plans.

But had the Sarnia Stings centreman not torn the MCL in his left knee and missed all ...

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Why the Maple Leafs should trade the fifth pick.

 

When Phil Kessel was drafted fifth overall in 2006, the pick was worth 90 cents on the draft dollar.

Trade the damn fifth pick.

Really. Trade it.

Take that fifth pick, the Tim Connolly, Blake Wheeler, Raffi Torres fifth pick. The one that has over the last five years yielded Karl Alzner, Luke Schenn, brother Brayden, Nino Niederreiter and Ryan Strome.

That one.

If you can get a solid offer move it on down the road.

Most number fives play with some distinction in the NHL. Some, Phil Kessel comes to mind, are tremendously talented.

But ...

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Yakupov the number one choice as first overall.

Nail Yakupov reminds scouts of another Russian who wore #10: Pavel Bure

 
Day 10:  Nail Yakupov, LW, 1NA

Barring an unexpected turn of events, the Edmonton Oilers will use their first overall draft choice to select Sarnia Sting right-winger Nail Yakupov.

There is little doubt Yakupov, who scored 80 goals in 107 games with the Sting has elite NHL skills. His is a trifle small at five-foot-10 but weighs in the high 190s. His skating is superb, he has an inexhaustible thirst for goalscoring and has an elite NHL shot.

Yakupov was a ...

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Subban is Malcolm in the Middle of the net

Belleville Bulls netminder Malcolm Subban is a relative newcomer to the position.

Day 8: Malcolm Subban, G, Belleviille, 1 NA goalie.

Malcolm Subban didn’t play goal until he was 12 years old but six years later he is poised to become the first goalie selected at the draft.

“I wanted to be a goalie from house league on My dad (Karl) was a coach when I was a player and he wasn’t too fond of me being a goalie,” Malcolm said. “It was really expensive and he thought I was a pretty ...

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International man of mystery: Mikhail Grigorenko.

Mikhail Grigorenko might be the most talented player in the draft.

Day 8: Mikhail Grigorenko. C, Quebec, 3 NA.

At six-foot-three, with good skating and unparalleled vision among this year’s draft candidates, Mikhail Grigorenko offensive offside is equal to or even greater than that of consensus number one Nail Yakupov.

As a rookie, Grigorenko scored 40 goals and recorded 85 points in 59 regular season games. He followed that up with a tepid playoff in which he scored just three times in 11 post-season games.

After the playoffs, Grigorenko revealed he had been ill with mononucleosis and didn’t have the energy necessary to compete. ...

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Maiden’s voyage will be an interesting one.

Jarrod Maidens brings a good two-way skill set.

Day 7: Jarrod Maidens. C/LW, Owen Sound: 35th NA.

Jarrod Maidens is a crapshoot, a player whose history of injuries has dramatically lowered his draft prospects. That said, there may be enough history to induce scouts to invest a second or third round pick on him.

While incomplete, the body of work is intriguing. Maidens played just 28 games and was knocked out of the lineup for good in late November because of a concussion.

That said the Attack selected him fourth overall in the ...

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Prospect Paterson a force between the posts.

Saginaw's Jake Paterson helped knock the talent-laden Sarnia Sting out of the OHL playoffs.

Day 6: Jake Paterson, Saginaw, goalie. Third NA goalie.

Perhaps more than any other player, Jake Paterson is responsible for the confused top five scenario at this year’s draft.

While Nail Yakupov has kept his number one ranking, his standing as well as the position of his centreman Alex Galchenyuk was muddled by the Sarnia Sting’s first-round, six game loss to Saginaw Spirit.

The architect of that upset: 6’1” Spirit goalie Jake Paterson who stopped 163 of 180 shots ...

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