Leafs franchise cornerstone Auston Matthews
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Leafs suffering the consequences of Dubas' poor asset management in the Matthews era

Published March 4, 2024 at 9:22
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

Over the past couple of seasons, former Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas mortgaged the future in order to help the team make a run in the playoffs. Unfortunately, all of those attempts fizzled out early and depleted the Leafs' future assets. On Thursday this past week, current Leafs GM Brad Treliving dipped further into the depleted draft pick cupboard by sending a pair of draft picks out the door to re-acquire Ilya Lyubushkin.

Following the trade Thursday, the Leafs' draft stock looks very, very slim. Currently, the Leafs have their first-round pick in the upcoming draft, but there are still five days for them to trade it. Outside of their first-round pick, they do not have a second-round pick the next three drafts, have the New York Islanders' third-round pick in this year's draft instead of their own and do not own a pick until the fifth round in the 2025 draft.

While the lack of picks for the next three drafts may concern many Leaf fans, it is not new territory for the Leafs' scouting staff, led by Wes Clark. The Leafs had just three picks in the draft last year (28th - Easton Cowan, 153-Hudson Malinoski, 185- Noah Chadwick), two of which already look like they will be having an impact with the Leafs and/or Marlies in the next season or two. The same can be said for the three draft picks they had in the 2021 draft with Matthew Knies already having a major impact with the Leafs. Their other two picks that year, (Ty Voit and Vyacheslav Peksa) also look like they could have an impact in the Leafs' organization over the next couple of seasons.

The outlook for the Leafs prospects that they have selected with the few picks they owned the past few drafts goes to show that the old adage of "quality over quantity" does sometimes ring true. We won't know the full impact of many of their prospects for another two or three seasons, but the early returns are showing promise and Leaf fans should not be overly concerned about the lack of draft capital the Leafs have, especially with Wes Clark leading the way.


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Leafs suffering the consequences of Dubas' poor asset management in the Matthews era

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