Why we should feel safe with Treliving heading his first full draft in Toronto

Dean Chaudhry
June 16, 2024  (4:13 PM)

Brad Treliving and Brendan Shanahan addressing the media during a press conference
Photo credit: Dan Hamilton - USA Today Sports

Tying to build through the draft can be difficult when you pick very late in the first round but Brad Treliving's draft history should give way for some confidence.

With the NHL Entry Draft less than 2 weeks away and the Stanley Cup Finals wrapping up, all eyes will be firmly set on Vegas in anticipation for the first real significant date of the off-season.
Treliving and the Toronto Maple Leafs hold the 23rd pick in the first round and while there are rumours that he could trade up and draft a player like Cole Eiserman, based on his track record it's safe to assume that the Leafs are in good hands regardless of his decision.
Last year the Maple Leafs drafted Easton Cowan with the 28th overall pick and just based on how late he was selected, it could be argued that Treliving made the best value pick of the first round. At the time of the pick, many insiders dubbed it as a reach but as the season unfolded, Cowan proved his worth with 96 points in 54 regular season games for the London Knights. He followed that up with 34 points in 18 post-season games as the Knights were crowned as OHL champions.
Going back to his days in Calgary, Treliving drafted 2 players in particular that are proving their worth on the biggest stage in hockey. Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk are 1 win away from hoisting the Stanley Cup for the Florida Panthers but they were selected very early on in their respective draft classes by the Flames. Bennett was taken 4th in 2014 and Tkachuk went 6th in 2016.
Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote a quick article earlier today talking about how those picks alone should give way for confidence heading into the 2024 NHL Entry Draft:
"The fact that Treliving drafted Bennett and Tkachuk, two barn storming, aggressive forwards, should be somewhat encouraging for Leafs fans. It's obvious this is the kind of player he desires. The kind of player almost impossible to acquire in today's NHL."
Treliving was also at the helm when the Flames drafted Rasmus Andersson, Oliver Kylington, Andrew Mangiapane, Adam Fox, and Conor Zary. While a lot of the aforementioned players either walked, requested a trade, or underperformed in Calgary, that's not so much on the general manager as it is about other facets of the game.
Fox only had eyes for New York, Tkachuk's decision to request a trade was on the tea leaves for some time, and Bennett underperformed until his arrival in Florida. All 3 players are now showcasing their worth, their value, and why they were drafted so high to begin with.
Kyle Dubas emptied the cupboard before he eventually departed for greener pasture in Pittsburgh. The Maple Leafs currently have 1 first round pick, 1 fourth round pick, 3 fifth round picks, and 2 seventh round picks in this upcoming draft. That might not seem like a treasure chest but considering they only had 3 picks last year, it's a much better platform to work off of.
It might take a few years to truly analyze Treliving's drafting in Toronto but based on some of his picks in Calgary as well as his input on Cowan, the Maple Leafs are in safe hands heading into the draft.
Source for Steve Simmons comments:
SIMMONS SAYS: Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving has watched his draft picks star in the Stanley Cup post-season
Source for draft information:
Calgary Flames Draft History
16 JUIN   |   180 ANSWERS
Why we should feel safe with Treliving heading his first full draft in Toronto

Should the Maple Leafs trade up in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft?

No, it costs way too much to move up9552.8 %
Yes, especially if a player like Eiserman drops3921.7 %
Stand pat, in Treliving we trust4625.6 %
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