Photo: Winger Matt Frattin is one of many Maple Leafs prospects who already has a fair amount of NHL experience. (Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs' system includes extensive depth at all positions, which should soon pay major dividends. Pending an extended lockout, there is expectation for strong competition from within, as a number of players are expected to graduate to the professional level. Recent draftees Morgan Rielly and Matt Finn find themselves ranked in the top-five for the Fall Top 20 rankings. Other new faces to the list include NCAA forward standout Spencer Abbot and Swedish defenseman Petter Granberg.
Photo: Widely regarded as a potential first-round pick, Matt Finn slipped to the second round where the Maple Leafs were happy to select him with the 35th overall pick. (Aaron Bell/CHL Images)
The Toronto Maple Leafs went into the 2012 NHL Draft with six selections, including the fifth overall. While General Manager Brian Burke did little to surprise with his selections, there was some big news at the conclusion of the draft.
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs' GM Brian Burke, shown here at the 2011 NHL Draft, elected to hang onto his fifth overall pick at the 2012 NHL Draft to select Morgan Rielly (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
Although the Toronto Maple Leafs and their GM, Brian Burke, were presented with trade options for their fifth overall selection at the 2012 NHL Draft, they elected to instead hang onto the pick to choose defenseman Morgan Rielly of the WHL's moose Jaw Warriors.
Photo: The Toronto Maple Leafs surprised some NHL Draft observers with their selection of Morgan Rielly with the fifth pick overall (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Like Alex Galchenyuk, who was drafted ahead of him in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft, Morgan Rielly missed a good portion of his first draft-eligible season as the result of an injury. But just as the Montreal Canadiens convinced themselves that Galchenyuk was fully healed, so too did the Toronto Maple Leafs with regard to Rielly's injury, grabbing the offensive defenseman with the fifth pick overall in this draft.
Photo: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke chats with the second of his two first round picks at the 2011 NHL Draft, defenseman Stuart Percy of the newly named Mississauga Steelheads (courtesy of Brace Hemmelgarn/Icon SMI)
After four years at the helm as the Toronto Maple Leafs
GM, a fifth overall draft choice at the 2012 NHL Draft
isn't likely the spot Brian Burke had planned on making a selection at this point in his stewardship. But, due to a mid-season collapse, the Maple Leafs have the opportunity to add another key building block to an ongoing system rebuild as the team continues it's quest to return to the NHL playoffs.