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The Future Of The Leafs Is Spelled MPS...

by Mike Ulmer / Toronto Maple Leafs


Mike Ulmer chatted with Leafs fans on Thursday as he took questions on the draft, free agency and plenty more. Read the full transcript for Ulmer's take.




Look, I will be hosting a live chat on this piece, Thursday at 1 p.m. so if you can hold your incredulity for a couple of hours, you can have your say.

And I know Brian Burke first became a general manager way back in 1992.

You don’t have to tell me that the Leafs are top heavy with smart management types and a scouting staff with a sampling of prospects advancing smartly into the NHL.

I know that there is more than a million combined years of expertise in the Leafs front office. I can only imagine countless cold cups of coffee choked down in an endless litany of arenas scattered around the globe. I hear the popcorn is terrible in Minsk.

It’s just that I know who the Maple Leafs should draft, June 26 and while team officials have experience and science and videotape and golden guts, I have a feeling.

See, told you my way is better.

One June 26, assuming Brian Burke can’t land John Tavares from the New York Islanders or Tampa Bay Lightning, he should draft the next best forward. Heck, maybe even the flat-out-best forward.

His name is Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson and no, he is not East Indian. He is Swedish. You can call him MPS or even Sven.

If the draft proceeds without Burke making merry, Tavares, defenseman Victor Hedman, centres Matt Duchene and Evander Kane should run one through four.

Brayden Schenn will likely be taken by LA at five and Jared Cowan’s massive frame and wingspan would be a great temptation for a Phoenix club lacking grit on the blue line.

That brings us to the Maple Leafs at number seven.

Now, I recognize the temptation of reuniting Brayden Schenn with his brother via trade. Schenn possesses the truculence so valued by Burke, but scouts wonder about his offensive upside.

The Leafs added grit and skill when they signed Tyler Bozak late last year. Bozak should play right away and he is built along the lines of a typical number two centre: he can check, win faceoffs and score.

What the Leafs really need is a lights-out offensive gunner who can fly, a complement or even someday a successor to Mikhail Grabovski.

Svensson was the fourth youngest player to play in the Swedish Elite League. Remember the World Juniors and how he predicted to a Swedish reporter that Team Canada would soil their collective hockey pants if the Swedes took a 2-0 lead over the home side. He is not afraid and he is one of the few forwards with enough skill to step in and immediately help the Leafs.

He’s the guy. It says so right here.

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