Leafs pass on Rick Nash, ponder whether to pick Mikhail Grigorenko if available in NHL draft

For hockey people, sometimes it’s very helpful when tough choices are taken away.

Perhaps that’s the case for the Maple Leafs when it comes to Rick Nash, a player they once coveted. Nobody seems quite certain where the Columbus Blue Jackets sniper will end up if he is indeed traded this week, but the Leafs are convinced that if they ever were on Nash’s short-list of teams for which he would waive his no-movement clause, they aren’t now.

So, apparently, they don’t have to be one of the teams trying to figure out just how much they should give up for a 28-year-old forward who had 59 points last year and comes with a massive contract and cap hit. They aren’t one of the teams chatting with the Jackets as we speak, although that could always change.

On the other hand, another really tricky choice could end up on Brian Burke’s platter in three days.

The Leafs, we’d all agree, need to somehow acquire a big, point-gathering centre, and neither the trade market nor free agency seems to have offered one up. That leaves the draft, and what will the Leafs do if it comes to their pick at No. 5 and Mikhail Grigorenko of the Quebec Remparts is sitting there, still available?


34 Responses to Leafs pass on Rick Nash, ponder whether to pick Mikhail Grigorenko if available in NHL draft

  1. Gambo says:

    If Galchenyuk is gone, I think they have to take him. Just imagine the player he will be if he gets his act together, he’s no different than a lot of people his age. Under Carlyle he will be forced to change, IMO.

  2. blaze says:

    I would take Evander Kane ahead of Rick Nash without a doubt at all. Kane will outscore Nash next season.

    Not to mention Kane could easily knock Rick Nash out in a fight. Exactly the type of guy the Leafs top 6 needs.

  3. leafs_wallace93 says:

    TSN mock draft has Grigorenko at 17th overall????

    • toronto77 says:

      They’re a bunch of idiots. Even though he had serious illness and maybe an injury that lead to a poor playoff performance should not have an influence on his draft spot. Regardless of a slight slip or an injury, your potential is still your potential. Long term, players like Faksa, and maybe even Terravainen will not be as effective as Grigorenko.

      Craig Button had the leafs selecting Forsberg but McGuire disagreed and said the leafs should take defencemen Morgan Reilly??? His reasons were that the leafs lack for someone to take charge back there and move the puck effectively. The leafs do have Jake Gardiner and Stuart Percy on the rise, so I do not see the need for Reilly as the leafs lack a top 6 forward more then they lack leadership from the back end. Unless they want to see if Phaneuf will have a bounce back season and can prove to be a real captain and if not, maybe they consider trading him and bringing up Reilly the next season to provide some leadership.

      Also some scouts are going both ways on Tyler Biggs, some predict him as hard working physical second line power forward that goes to the net and other scouts say that he will be nothing better than a third liner checking forward???

      I think this kid is guaranteed to be a top 6 forward, especially if he is making a jump to the OHL to speed up his development. When he was drafted, he was compared to Colby Armstrong? if that’s the case, trade him now.

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        Yeah I forget that Dion is washed up given he’s top ten in minutes played and finished 12th for scoring among blueliners while he plays with a physical, thankfully TSN is there to call him useless.

        Kessel sucks too, only finished top five in goals, he’s no Tyler Seguin.

      • reinjosh says:

        I get why they are doing it even if they don’t agree. You could be the most talented player in the draft and have the highest potential but still have the lowest probability of success. That’s what they view from Grigorenko for some reason.

        It’s idiotic. The “russian factor” doesn’t even really exist. The KHL is a joke with teams that can’t pay players half the time. Look who has left to go to the KHL. A washed up Jagr (who later came back). Babchuk. Hudler (who wasn’t doing much anyways and came back as well). No real Russian star has left the NHL to got the NHL. Radulov is the closest but even he came back (he’s the exception).

        Sure prospects stay in the KHL (and Kuznetzov is the only big name one that so far has refused to come over) but its rare a Russian prospect will leave the CHL to go back to the KHL. Kabanov and Filatov did it but those were extenuating circumstances. Khoklachev (speaking of, where’s Bruins?) is probably the only one.

        The Russian factor is overblown. As are Grig’s apparent flaws. Yeah he has compete level issues but they aren’t the worst in the world. He takes some games off, which is a pretty common thing for young prospects. He struggled during the playoffs? Yeah no sh*t sherlock, he had mono during his worst series. And for the last half of the season he played on an injured ankle. Just him playing half the season through an injury like that is heart enough.

        This kid learned english in a matter of months by sitting down 3 hours a day until he had the hang of it.

        I will be severely pissed off if Burke passes on him. If he’s going to drop, take advantage of that and move back for extra assets. Grigorenko is one of the most talented players in the draft, right there with Galchenyuk and Yakupov. If you can’t get Galchenyuk, take the other talented guy.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya Bob’s rankings had him at 12, they pick him at 17 in the mock draft. Its pretty crazy. Although that kind of thing can happen to a Russian player. Like that kid who was supposed to be a top 5 but he slipped to the Rangers in the teens somewhere. I think he died in Russia of a heart failure or something.

  4. 93killer93 says:

    As per Hockeybreak,
    “The Anaheim Ducks are interested in Sam Gagner of the Edmonton Oilers. Could be part of a trade for the Ducks 1st round pick (6th overall).”

    That would be huge for Edmonton if they can manage to get Yakupov and one of Murray, Reinhart or Dumba.

  5. Gambo says:

    Just throwing this out there, I really want to see Kadri play a full year on the team. Trade Macarthur and replace him with Kadri because Kadri could be an upgrade over him and comes cheaper. The lineup can’t have three smaller top 6 wingers(Kessel,Kadri,Macarhur) so Macarthur would need to be traded.

    Lupul, Kessel, Kadri, Frattin, Kulemin and someone like Ryan, E.Kane or Penner would be a nice top 9 with size and skill.

    Also, if the Blackhawks are shopping P.Kane, I think the leafs should disregard any negatives about his personality and go for him. He transitioned into s center this year and has waaay too much skill to pass on. Fixes the number 1 center spot just like that.

    It could be possible if they started the season like this on offence:


    It’s not a huge lineup but it is bigger, all 4 center roles would be filled.

    To get Kane it might take something like Schenn/Franson and Colborne.

    And everything else would be signings, maybe trade for Luongo who knows..

    Oh and Draft Forsberg, he can replace Penner in a couple years or something.

    • reinjosh says:

      I think Kadri would work better on that line too. He’s a playmaker more than MacArthur is and since Kulemin and Grabo are more shooters, it might work out decently well.

      Totally random aside, where’s LN91?

  6. nordiques100 says:

    I really think Griffin Reinhart will be a Toronto Maple Leaf.

    I think his size and skill on D is too good for Burke to pass at 5.

    Also, the Russian factor, I don’t know. Maybe having a couple of Russians and being in multi-cultural Toronto makes it easier to stay an NHLer for those players rather than go KHL.

    But, i really think, instead of position, Burke goes on the defensive and picks a blueliner.

    I think it may be Yakubov at 1, Murray at 2, Forsberg at 3, Turovainen at 4 as the Isles go off the board a bit. Or else Galenchuk is in the top 4.

    I think if Reinhart is on the board, they go for it.

    • nordiques100 says:

      Also, it may make it easier to see Dougie Hamilton in Boston, having Reinhart on the Leafs D.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      I can’t believe that after all the money and time MLSE has pissed away on D they still haven’t figured out that blueliners are disposable.

      We’re boarderline shopping around our blueline’s savior in Schenn, don’t waste a top five pick on a blueliner, ever draft is full of top ten blueline busts anyway.

    • dumbassdoorman says:

      I think if he is going to go for a dman, he needs to trade backwards and pick up picks etc., that’s only my opinion, but there is a lot of quality if we do so. Wask, might be enticed to swap and 11+16 might not be a bad way to go?

    • reinjosh says:

      I’d be fine taking Teravainen over Reinhart.

      Smallness be damned. If he’s one of the most talented players in the draft, with the highest hockey IQ, you take him. You can place big players around small players to succeed.

      If Reinhart’s better, take him I suppose.

    • Gambo says:

      If Burke doesn’t select one of Yakupov. Forsberg, Gaclhenyuk, Grigorenko or Murray I’ll be pissed. We don’t need to draft another ‘Schenn’ or another ‘Kadri’. I don’t hate Schenn or Kadri but we can’t have two of them.

  7. dumbassdoorman says:

    Like I said if he can’t draft Galchenyuk, I say go backwards, see if Wash wants to trade 11+16 for the 5th. You could still wind up with Grigs, maybe but would say Faska & Girgensons be that bad? Or who knows what other ammo you might be able to load up on?

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