Logan Couture Could have been a Toronto Maple Leaf

By Jeff Zeffer

The 2007 NHL Draft will be a draft that I will remember for quite some time. Being a Toronto Maple Leaf fan we had the 13th overall pick in the 07 draft and on June 22nd 2007 there was a crop of young talent to choose from; player’s such as Logan Couture, Lars Eller, Brandon Sutter, Alexei Cherepanov and Kevin Shattenkirk.

Now going back to that period of time, I remember news reports, articles and reliable sources, that were saying that the Toronto Maple Leafs were all over Couture and he was a likely candidate for the Leafs to trade up in the draft to make sure they get their guy. A couple reasons for the Maple Leafs to draft Couture was that he spent his childhood years just outside of London, Ontario; where he grew up as a Maple Leaf fan, as he always wanted to play for the blue and white. The season before Couture was draft he had 78 points in 54 games for the Ottawa 67’s. Couture is an elusive center man, who is great at skating and passing, along with scoring upside. A prime candidate for a Maple Leafs team that was looking for a center, to replace franchise player Mats Sundin, who was heading towards the end of his career.

But the Maple Leaf General Manger at the time was John Ferguson Jr., who had a reputation of trading and not drafting with high picks. On the day of the draft, he traded our 13th overall pick, our 07 2nd pick and a 4th round pick in 09 to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Vesa Toskala and Mark Bell. We had one good season with Toskala, where he recorded 33 wins in 66 games, with a 2.74 GAA. Now he is in the SEL league with AIK. While Bell had only 10 points with the Maple Leafs and now has play his second season in the Swiss-A league with Kloten.

The Maple Leafs have made some horrible trades over the last 10-12 years. But this was a story of what of could have been for the Maple Leafs and their future, as I wish this trade should of never happened. But this Canadian boy was drafted by the Sharks and in his rookie season scored 32 goals and 56 points.

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