Toronto is looking to add some key pieces to their roster this summer in hopes of breaking a long string of years not playing in the NHL playoffs. GM Brian Burke is on the hot seat as the team and its fans are looking for improved play and this is likely his last year if they fail to qualify for the post-season in the upcoming season.
Burke is looking towards the draft for some help and most experts thought this team would go with a top-line scorer, but Burke went defense as he hopes to improve on the disappointing back-line play from last year.
With the fifth overall pick on Friday night, Toronto selected Morgan Rielly, a player that missed most of last season with a torn ACL, but his showing at the recent combine showed scouts that his knee is healthy and ready for ice time this fall.
Toronto will team the rookie with Jake Garidner this season and it will form one of the best young back-line combinations in the league. This choice in the draft is also making it look like the Maple Leafs will look towards free agency next month to land some help on offense.
The grade for this pick is a solid B, but if Rielly is completely healthy and helps the poor defense in Toronto, this could become one of the steals of the 2012 NHL Draft.