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GM Interview: From Winterhawk to Maple Leaf

A sit down interview with Leafs GM Sean Hanley on what he feels could easily be one of the best overall Entry Draft hauls in BEARD Hockey.

To start it off, at 13th overall the Toronto Maple Leafs landed the second best in scoring in the WHL last season in Seth Jarvis from the Portland Winterhawks. The Winnipeg native had 42 goals and 56 assists in 58 games.

Branden Thompson: What were your thoughts coming into the entry draft 13th overall? And were you happy with your pick?

Sean Hanley: There's lots of skilled eligible hockey players to choose from and when we saw Seth Jarvis was still available, we knew we had to pull the trigger on him. The 18-year old has too much skill to pass up on. I am very happy to have opportunity to see what this kid will do in the near future.

The Leafs didn't stop there as they picked Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting in the first round, 27th overall. Perreault posted 39 goals and 31 assist in 57 games. Toronto acquired this pick in a trade with the New Jersey Devils sending NJD 1st 2020 (Jacob Perreault) for prospect Jan Jenik, TOR 2nd 2020 (Marat Khusnutdinov), TOR 4th 2020 (Domenick Fensore), and TOR 7th 2020 (Hunter Drew).

Branden Thompson: What are your thoughts on Jacob Perreault and do you think the trade was worth it?

Sean Hanley: I feel drafting a goal scoring winger like Jacob Perreault 27th overall is right on the money. And I feel that yes, this very much was a great trade upgrade for us.

As mentioned before with the Leafs trading away their second round draft pick to New Jersey, the Devils selected Marat Khusnutdinov from the KHL. The Leafs did not select anyone in the second round.

In the 3rd round 77th overall. the Leafs selected Tristen Robins of the Saskatoon Blades. Robins scored 33 goals with 40 assists in 62 games.

Branden Thompson: Your thoughts, Mr. Hanley?

Sean Hanley: We projected this kid to be gone long before our turn came up as a matter of fact. We projected him about 56th overall. But as luck was on our side that Tristen Robins was still around.

Again in the 3rd round, Toronto selected defensemen Lukas Cormier of the Charlottetown Islanders at 82nd overall. The Leafs acquired this pick in a in a trade sending Ryan Dzingel and Jake Leschyshyn to the New York Islanders for Kyle Clifford, Stepan Falkovsky, and CGY 3rd 2020 (Lukas Cormier).

Branden Thompson: Another solid selection here. Tell me your logic behind this.

Sean Hanley: When we made the trade with the Islanders, we were looking for some grit which we found in Kyle Clifford. To send this over the top for us when we saw that Lukas Cormier was still available at 82nd overall ,we had to take it. Cormier was projected 68th overall.

As mentioned earlier the Leafs traded away their 116th overall pick, with whom the Devils selected Domenick Fensore.

However, with the 118th pick, the Leafs selected Toronto-born Zayde Wisdom of the Kingston Frontenacs. Toronto traded away prospect Matias Maccelli for NYR 4th 2020 (Zayde Wisdom). Wisdom posted 29 goals and 30 assists in 62 games.

Branden Thompson: What wisdom can Zayde bring to the Leafs?

Sean Hanley: That was a lame joke, Branden. I think Zayne has some work to do before he makes his big break. But he is a hard worker and isn't afraid to hit or be hit. With him being a Toronto native, I feel he will be happiest and will excel playing in front of his friends and family.

In the 5th round at 141st overall, Toronto selected Kamloop Blazers goaltender Dylan Garand. In 42 games, Garand sported a 2.21 GAA and .921 save percentage with 4 shutouts.

Branden Thompson: I've watched this guy play and he's a steal in the 5th round. What took you so long to pick him?

Sean Hanley: I wasn't originally expecting to pick a goalie, but we projected him at 103rd overall. He was still around and we feel we had to take him before someone else did.

In the 6th round at 180th overall, the Leafs selected defensemen Zachary Uens of Merrimack College.

Branden Thompson: Tell me about him.

Sean Hanley: He's an 'in your face' kind of defenseman. Think Seth Jones, only a little more stay-at-home defensive and not so much offensively skilled. We projected him 105th overall, so 180th is a steal for our last pick of the Entry Draft.

And there you have it. That's the conclusion of the Toronto Maple Leafs 2020 BEARD Hockey Entry Draft. And that's all for now until I write my Leafs season preview article.

Until then, I'm Branden Thompson of the Leafs Nation News.

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