With the Maple Leafs, for now at least, operating without their first two draft choices, the pressure for the scouting staff actually intensifies.
Can the team find jewels in the later rounds?
We spoke to a large sampling of players who may or may not be available should the Leafs choose 62nd in the June 25,-26 entry draft in Los Angeles. Here are their stories.NAME:
Toronto, ON, CANHEIGHT:
187 lbs.CENTRAL SCOUTING RANK:
25 goals, 30 assists, 55 points, 12 PIMs, 64 games.
Freddie Hamilton has been a Leafs season ticket holder for four generations.
That would be Fred Hamilton, the great-grandson of Fred Hamilton the prospect for the Niagara Ice Dogs who may or may not be available when the Leafs are scheduled to take their first pick in the entry draft at spot number 62.
“My great grandfather is a fourth generation ticket-holder.” he said. “They became available to him because he was playing baseball with the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball team. It’s always been a dream of mine to be drafted by the Leafs.”
No wonder then that Hamilton has an old-school view of penalties. While today’s players use penalty minutes as proof of their aggressiveness, Hamilton views PIMs with the same disregard Hall of Famer Dave Keon did.
“I don’t consider penalties a good thing. A lot of times if you take one you are either being stupid or lazy and those are two words I don’t want applied to me.”
That leaves limited space for defencemen on the Toronto roster and naturally, Hamilton couldn’t limit the teams interested in him, even if he wanted to.
For now, Freddie Hamilton still occasionally goes to the game with his grandfather, the source of his inspiration for hockey and everything else.
“My family instilled good values in me. Hopefully that is connected to the type of player I am.”