Over the past 20 years, The Leafs have selected in the 3rd Round of the Draft 15 times. The results had varying rates of success. The fact that 8 of the 15 have at least played in the NHL is solid (When you take recent picks Jamie Devane and Dale Mitchell out of the equation the number is even more impressive.) The high end of the third rounders would be Yanic Perrault and Fredrick Modin. The low end is such memorable picks as Jamie Hodson, and Nicolas Corbeil.
Now, that’s all well and good, but only Jamie Devane was picked by our current GM. Burke’s third round history is slightly different than Toronto’s. Burke participated in 11 drafts before coming to Toronto, in those drafts he has made 12 selections in the 3rd round. Of those picks, only 2 (Marek Malik and Jarkko Ruutu have been a presence in the NHL. The jury is still out on the five picks he made in Anaheim, but of them only one currently ranks on the top 20 prospects in the Ducks organization according to HockeysFuture.com (Brandon McMillan)
The number 62 pick itself has a history of mixed results, there are some great selections such as Paul Martin, David Backes, and Kristopher Letang. There is Marcel Cousineau. Then there is a parade of complete misses that make up most of the history of this selection spot over the past 20 years. One of the interesting traits of this draft spot is the tendency for teams to select a Russian who never plays in the NHL. If one of the highly touted Russians of this draft were to fall, based on history, Toronto should take a pass.
The biggest issue of this draft is that Toronto does not have a first round pick, but looking at Toronto’s draft history, it is the 4th round and after that has filled in our team. Nikolai Borschevsky, Sergei Berezin, Danil Markov, Tomas Kaberle, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ian White, and Carl Gunnarsson are all late round picks who’ve contributed in a positive way to Torontos roster (debate Berezin if you must). Burkes Vancouver and Hartford draft history is a little more barren. Kevin Bieksa was a great find in 2001, but his only other late round find was Manny Legace in the 8th round in 1993. Jury is still out on what he has done in Anahiem, but when you factor in Toronto was also able to find role players like Adam Mair, Shawn Thornton, Anton Stralman, John Mitchell and Kyle Wellwood over their draft span, Burke’s record looks a little weak.