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Burke still aiming to move up at draft

Friday, 05.29.2009 / 3:04 PM / 2009 NHL Entry Draft

By Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

TORONTO -- Brian Burke hasn't changed his stated goal of trying to move up from the seventh pick in the 2009 Entry Draft.

For the Toronto Maple Leafs' general manager, reaching that goal is going to be a difficult thing.

Burke has publicly stated his desire to acquire one of the top two picks in June in order to select either London Knights center John Tavares or top Swedish defenseman Victor Hedman.

Speaking in the lobby of the Westin Bristol Place, Burke said he had no news to report in discussions he's had with other teams, but he added that he isn't surprised by that fact.

"I got nowhere with it so far," said Burke. "I didn't think I would so early. There's no progress to report, but I'm not discouraged yet.

"So far I got nothing to report and no reason to feel positive or encouraged in any way, but that's how it is. The two times I've done this was on the floor. I'm not surprised there's no progress yet. We've got a month."

Burke has made big moves at the draft before. In 1993, as GM of the Hartford Whalers, he dealt first-, second-, and third-round picks to the San Jose Sharks to acquire the second pick, which he used to select Chris Pronger. And in 1999, as GM of the Vancouver Canucks, he maneuvered to land the second and third picks, which he used to grab Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

"If we have to stay and pick at seven we're content to do that," said Burke. "We're going to try to move up but we're not going to overpay to do it. We think we can get a good player at seven."

NHL Scouting Combine GearPrior to the end of the 2008-09 season, Burke signed a number of top college prospects, including Tyler Bozak and Christian Hanson, but he said making an impact at the draft is still of paramount importance.

"We're going to try to hit it out of the park like we always do," said. Burke. "The fact that we've put a few top prospects in the system doesn't change the desperation that I think you have to have when you go to the draft. Your mentality has to be we have to be successful here. The fact that we added Bozak, Christian … doesn't change that. It doesn't change that hunger you have to have gong into the draft. We have to get better today."

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com.