Saturday, 25 June 2016

Maple Leafs' overhaul continues with 1st pick in NHL draft

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Hiring coach Mike Babcock and general manager Lou Lamoriello last offseason was the Toronto Maple Leafs' first major step in their high-priced bid to restore relevance to one the NHL's most recognized franchises.The next significant piece in the Maple Leafs' rebuilding plan will be added Friday night, when Toronto has the first pick in the NHL draft. Though Lamoriello has been careful not to tip his hand, the consensus is the Maple Leafs will usher in the 100th year of pro hockey being played in Toronto by pinning their future on Arizona-born center, Auston Matthews.The 18-year-old Matthews, who played pro hockey in Switzerland last season, is ranked first by NHL Central Scouting. Matthews has the chance to be the seventh U.S.-born player selected No. 1, and first since Patrick Kane by Chicago in 2007.The next two rated players are Finnish-born forwards Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi.The Maple Leafs have plenty riding on their selection.They're in the mid

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