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Maple Leafs select winger Josh Leivo with third-round pick

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The Canadian Press
6/25/2011 7:19:53 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Sudbury Wolves forward Josh Leivo with their third-round pick in the NHL draft on Saturday.

Leivo had 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists) in 64 games for the Ontario Hockey League club last season.

The six-foot-one, 173-pound left-winger told TSN Radio's Mike Hogan that he was excited about being selected as high as he was.

"I was just trying to hold it in this morning, especially finding out that I went third round," Leivo said. "I definitely thought I was going a bit later in the draft."

"And to find out it was to the Leafs is exciting and I'm happy to be a part of the organization."

The No. 86 selection was Toronto's first pick on Day 2 of the draft at the Xcel Energy Centre.

A native of Innisfil, Ont., Leivo joked with Hogan about not always being a Leaf fan.

"I was a leaf fan, but I'm not gonna lie I switched to Montreal when I was about five years old," he said. "I guess now I'm a Leaf fan again."

 The Leafs sent their second-round pick (No. 39) and the No. 30 pick to Anaheim on Friday night for the Ducks' No. 22 selection.

Toronto used the pick to select American forward Tyler Biggs. The six-foot-two, 210-pounder spent last season with the U.S. under-18 national team development program. He had 28 points (17 goals, 11 assists) in 48 games.

His father, Don Biggs, was drafted in 1983 by Minnesota (156th overall) and played 11 games for Philadelphia in 1987.

The Leafs selected Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors defenceman Stuart Percy with the No. 25 pick.

The Oakville, Ont., native was named to the all-star team at the 2011 Memorial Cup, where the Majors lost to the Saint John Sea Dogs in the final. The six-foot, 186-pound blue-liner had 33 points (4-29) in 64 games last season.

Now Percy will get a chance to make the team he grew up cheering for.

"It's been pretty surreal going to the hometown Toronto Maple leafs," Percy told Hogan. "It was really just a dream come true."

General manager Brian Burke said the team prioritized character players at the draft.

"We don't always get it right but our big focus is on character," Burke said. "Every team says that, but it's part of our DNA. We're looking for players that are going to get better, that work hard, that are coachable, guys who handle adversity well. We try to identify through our interview and through using our psychologist people with character.

"That's why I think we got kind of a shotgun spread on positions and types of players this year, but I think we found character people. They're your best chance to win. I'm convinced you can not win a championship in this league unless you have character people in the room."

A few hours before the start of the draft, Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke acquired defenceman John-Michael Liles from Colorado for a second-round pick in 2012.

"If you look at this draft, the first day to add John-Michael Liles and to add Rick Dudley in a non-player move and then to draft the two kids we did, we're pretty happy with the trip here to Minnesota," Bure said. "Today we think we added some guys who have a chance down the road."

The Leafs selected defenceman Tom Nilsson from the Swedish junior league with the No. 100 pick and took Minnesota high school forward Tony Cameranesi at No. 130.

In the sixth round, the Leafs picked Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward David Broll at No. 152 and added Brown University defenceman Dennis Robertson at No. 173.

Toronto selected a goaltender in the seventh round, taking Garret Sparks of the Guelph Storm at No. 190. The Leafs then took another Minnesota high schooler, defenceman Max Everson, with the 203rd pick.

Brian Burke (Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)
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