There’s been so much news and hockey action – and I’ve started a new job – that I haven’t even had time to throw out the obligatory Mitch Marner Celebration post. Well, consider it done now!
In early May, after studying the profiles and scouting reports of the top-ten prospects, I wrote about how I thought the Leafs should draft Marner – even if Strome was still available. So, when the Leafs went and did just that, I was ecstatic.
When his pre-draft profile was shown on the air during Sportsnet’s broadcast of the draft, and I heard that he not only spent the last year watching 70+ Blackhawks games to study Patrick Kane but was also a die-hard life-long Leafs fan, I was – if possible – even more excited about the Leafs picking him.
Marner is a home-town kid with excellent speed, skill and most of all, a dedication to getting better. It’s exciting that he wants to learn Kane’s game inside out, but not because the Leafs might get a Kane Clone, but because for an 18 year old to care that much about improving his game that he’d go home and study more hockey after training, practicing and playing – well it’s a breath of fresh air coming off a year where the team and it’s best players seemed a little apathetic.
So, whether or not he turns out to be the next Kane, or he falls short of expectations, it doesn’t really matter. The Leafs have drafted a home-town Leafs fan. A guy who grew up cheering for the team that we do. What could be better? I mean, it’s almost romantic.
And while we have to probably wait a year or two to see him in the NHL maybe this video will tide you over and get you as stupidly happy about the pick as I am.
Thanks for reading.
Covering the Leafs for the Hockey Writers.