#1 – Patrik Laine, RW – Tappara, SM-liiga

TSN – #2
Central Scouting – #2 ES
ISS – #2
Craig Button – #2
McKeens – #1
THN – #2

NHL COMPARABLE : Alex Ovechkin
POTENTIAL : Franchise Winger
CEILING: 1st Line RW
FLOOR: 2nd Line RW

So the big question is : Laine or Matthews? I think that the answer to that one is “well, what kind of team do you have”? Going best player available is one thing but when you get two guys that are so close in terms of value, it really depends much more on what you need than it does on anything else. The Leafs are picking first and they don’t have top flight centers in their fold…the obvious and simple choice is Matthews. If it had been the Oilers picking, the obvious and simple choice would have been Laine.

Since I do have to pick between the two players, I choose Laine. While Matthews plays a more important position and will be an NHL star starting next season, I think Laine has the opportunity to be something really special. A 6’4 monster who can skate and see the ice as well as he does, this is not something we see everyday. When you think back at the year this player has had competing at different levels and him being a key part of each of those runs tells you all you need to know about what kind of player he is.


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