After the Toronto Maple Leafs’ place in the standings took a drastic plunge in February, the club’s director of amateur scouting Dave Morrison tells Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun that the club had to change the way they approached the draft.
Our draft position was a lot different in the beginning of February than it was a little bit later. We had to change a lot of our plans and go watch a lot of different players, but it has been exciting because you get to watch a lot of the top guys.
Morrison and his staff are said to have “the majority of input in the Leafs’ first-round selection,” but was evasive when asked who they may pick and if that player may be a center.
Is that message going to self-destruct in five seconds, because I can’t answer that.
However, the veteran scout explains that him and his staff won’t select a player based on position, but on talent. Basically, they will pick the best player available.
We have an idea. I don’t think you can ignore a really good defenceman if he is the best player at that spot and you have to take him. If it is a forward, then we take the forward. We are going to take the best player. You have to. You can’t stray from that.
Morrison goes on to say that because this isn’t a particularly strong draft when it comes to “star power,” they will have to do their homework.
We want a guy who could potentially be a core player, and you absolutely have to go with that mindset. I don’t think it is a weak draft, I am just not necessarily sure it offers the star power that is there in other drafts. There are some guys who could potentially be that, it’s not as clear cut. We want to get that guy out of that group. There are a lot of guys (in this draft) who are going to play. It’s getting the ones who are going to take the jump.
Koshan suggests the the Maple Leafs, who have the fifth pick overall, would love to select Alex Galchenyuk — if he is still available by the time their turn comes up.