Monday Ron Wilson and Leafs players had their chance to speak about the past season.
Tuesday, it was general manager Brian Burke’s opportunity.
He touched on numerous topics including the upcoming NHL Entry Draft in Minnesota on June 24-25, and what he thinks of the Leafs players that will be taking part in the World Championships in Slovakia.
The Maple Leafs first round pick this June will go to Boston as the final pick that the Bruins received in the Phil Kessel
trade. Despite that, the Leafs enter the draft with 11 picks and three in the first two rounds. Toronto acquired first round picks from Boston (Tomas Kaberle) and Philadelphia (Kris Versteeg) this past February plus they have their own second round pick.
Those three choices give Burke and the Leafs a good shot at moving up in the draft which is something that he hopes to do at this point.
“We are willing to entertain options to move up for two of those picks but we will pick twice. “We can trade one of the firsts and our second or the other first and second to move up and pick higher in the first round,” Burke said.
Unlike in years past, this draft doesn’t have a bonafide lock for the number one spot. There are several top names that are available but after the top 15, it is wide open. That is something that will be beneficial to the Leafs and the scouts who spent hours watching potential picks.
“We like the depth in this draft and we intend to keep two picks (in the first two rounds).”
Here is a breakdown of all the picks the Leafs have in the 2011 draft: two firsts, one second, one third, two fourths, one fifth, three sixths and one seventh.
Although the season has ended many Leafs will now don the colours of their respective countries.
Three Leafs, Dion Phaneuf
, James Reimer
and Luke Schenn
will be playing for Canada with a fourth, Clarke MacArthur
on standby in case he is needed.
Burke was asked of three to play for Canada who stands to gain the most from suiting up in the Red and White this spring.
“I would say Luke and then James if he gets to play but I don’t know who the other goalies are so I don’t know how much a kid like that is going to play,” Burke said. Phil Kessel
turned down the opportunity to play for the USA but the general manager isn’t upset with his sniper for sitting out the World Championships.
“We (USA Hockey) can’t keep going to the same 20 guys every time we go to a tournament,” he said. “He has gone twice. Once to Halifax and I think in Latvia, he has played in the Olympics, you can’t expect the same 20 guys to play,” Burke said.
The other members of the Leafs organization heading to Slovakia are: Mike Komisarek
(USA), Mike Brown
(USA), Nikolai Kulemin
(Russia), Mikhail Grabovski
(Belarus), Juraj Mikus
(Slovakia), Marcel Mueller
(Germany) and Korbinian Holzer
Mapleleafs.com will keep you updated throughout the tournament on how the Leafs are doing.