Siegel: Who fits for the Maple Leafs at No. 5?

Jonas Siegel
6/22/2012 12:28:11 PM
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PITTSBURGH - What will the Leafs do with their fifth overall pick?

A few options - provided they keep the selection - as the hours count down to the 2012 Draft from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.

Nail Yakupov - Winger

Why it makes sense: Yakupov is the most dynamic, gifted offensive talent available in the draft and would offer the Leafs a future game-breaking piece to pair with Phil Kessel.

Probability: Highly unlikely. The Sarnia Sting pivot is certain to be off the board by the time the Leafs pick at five.

Alex Galchenyuk - Centre

Why it makes sense: He's the towering, skilled pivot the Leafs have long been after, a potential presence down the middle not seen since Sundin left the organization in 2008. Galchenyuk missed most of the season with a knee injury, but returned in time for the playoffs. A consistent scoring threat, the Wisconsin-born has terrific puck skills.

Probability: Possible, but unlikely. Galchenyuk's stock has jumped considerably in the weeks leading up to the draft. He'll likely be scooped up no later than Montreal in the three hole.

Ryan Murray - Defenceman

Why it makes sense: Named the youngest captain in Everett's history, Murray is precisely the kind of dependable presence that defence-corps are built around. His potential as a top-two blueliner capable of logging huge minutes and locking down opposing top lines would be unmatched within the Leafs organization.

Probability: Unlikely. If the Oilers pass on a trade and veer away from another forward in Yakupov, Murray could just be their guy. He'll be long gone at number five.

Filip Forsberg - Winger

Why it makes sense: Pegged as the complete package and perhaps the safest pick in the 2012 Draft, Forsberg has the chance to become something special. His combination of size, intangibles (winner), and skills are tantalizing for an organization in need of elite top-six talent.

Probability: Possible, but not probable. Forsberg held his own as a youngster in the Swedish Elite League, showed a knack for rising to the occasion in big moments and consistently led by example with his play. There's a chance he slips past the Islanders at four, but considering the range of talents it seems unlikely.

Mathew Dumba - Defenceman

Why it makes sense: He's got a bomb from the point and will deliver a punishing hit in a moment's notice; Dumba offers a few traits similar to Dion Phaneuf circa Calgary 2005. If the Leafs are after a long-term match to complement the Leaf captain they may just go with Dumba.

Probability: Possible. Dumba is known as a fiercely intense competitor, but there are concerns about how his game will translate to the next level. He's not a big man per se (six-foot, 183), but plays a punishing style. Would the Leafs take a chance that his skills translate into stardom?

Morgan Rielly - Defenceman

Why it makes sense: The B.C. native has drawn Karlsson comparisons for his ability to impact a game offensively. An elite skater and puck-rusher, Rielly would inject a unique brand of skill into the organizational blueline.

Probability: Possible. Rielly missed a large chunk of time this season with a torn ACL, an injury that shouldn't affect his standing too much. If the top three forwards (Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Forsberg) are off the board at five, the Leafs could veer in the direction of high-end blueline prospect like Rielly.

Griffin Reinhart - Defenceman

Why it makes sense: He's a big, solid d-man who can play in all situations, Reinhart would offer the Leafs a high-end defensive prospect capable of playing in the top four.

Probability: Possible. With good offensive instincts and a steady defensive presence, Reinhart is one of many strong options in a solid defensive class.

Mikhail Grigarenko - Centre

Why it makes sense: The true wild card of the draft, Grigarenko's stock has fallen hard, but there's no denying the talents of the Ramparts star. Flashes of Malkin-like talent make him the potential steal of the draft. He could fill the Leafs long-term void down the middle.

Probability: Possible. Perhaps unfairly, Grigarenko has been labeled something of question mark. But if the Leafs shoot for a home run with Yakupov, Forsberg, and Galchenyuk off the board, Grigarenko could just be their guy.

Radek Faksa - Centre

Why it makes sense: Faksa led all OHL rookies in goals, assists and points, the blend of size, skating and skill so often coveted down the middle for NHL clubs. In need of such a prospect at centre, the Leafs could spring for Faksa.

Probability: Possible, but not a number five. If they decided Faksa was their guy, the Leafs could probably move down to select the Kitchener Rangers star.

Jacob Trouba - Defenceman

Why it makes sense: The top USA Hockey prospect in the draft, Trouba is big, mobile and mean. Burke has shown a strong affection for those with sandpaper to their game making the future University of Michigan blueliner an option.

Probability: Possible, but not at number five. The Leafs could probably move down - slightly - if they deemed Trouba their best available option.
Teuvo Teravainen - Winger

Why it makes sense: The Finnish winger is supremely skilled, perhaps as much as any player in the draft. Size is the only question mark for the Helsinki native.

Probability: Possible, but unlikely. The Leafs have probably had their fill of undersized wingers.

Alex Galchenyuk (Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)


(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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