By Anthony M
Bio: I’m a 25 year old student at the College of Sports Media studying Radio and Television Sports Broadcasting. Toronto born and raised, I’ve always had a passion for sports and the media. Prior to attending CSM I received my Undergraduate Degree from Carleton University studying Communications. I’m an avid world traveler, hockey fanatic and I look forward to sharing my insight with you on the world of sports.
What should the Leafs do with the 8th overall draft pick?
With the 2014 NHL Draft taking place Friday, June 27th in Philadelphia, big question marks surround where and when certain players will go. For Toronto Maple Leafs fans curious as to what the team will do with the 8th overall pick, look no further than Red Deer Rebels defenceman, Haydn Fleury. The 6’ 2’’ d-man should be a top priority for the club, which allowed a league worst 35.9 shots per game by seasons end. Many expect Toronto to take one of the top ten forwards available in the draft. Nicholas Ritchie, ranked 7th has been a hot topic of conversation. Fleury, ranked 9th however is the responsible choice for a team that lacked responsible play from the back end. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner are talents that will no doubt develop into key assets, but with the rumoured departure of captain Dion Phaneuf, look for management to invest in the blue line.
During the 2013-14 season Fleury led all Red Deer defencemen with 46 points (8 goals, 38 assists) in 70 games. His plus-15 was also a team high. Combined with his offensive capabilities, Fleury is praised for his shutdown defensive style, strong skating and puck moving skills. One area of his game the Leafs should be interested in (if not all) is his proficiency in making that first outlet pass, an asset that Toronto’s blue line could use.
Capturing bronze at the 2014 Under-18 World Championship, Fleury was named Best Defenceman. He may not be the flashy forward fans want out of the early draft pick, but he’s exactly what the team needs for the future.
All that said, what do you think the Leafs should do?