Greetings to everyone in Toronto, Schenectady and the rest of Leafs Nation. First, I would like to thank the Minnesota Wild and City of Saint Paul, Minnesota for hosting the 2011 Entry Draft, as well as to Lighthouse Hockey for this latest episode of Epic Mock Draft Time. I would also like to thank Toronto Maple Leafs fans the world over for being patient as we build a perennial Stanley Cup contender. It is with the utmost honor and most esteemed privilege that I will announce the 25th selection in the 2011 National Hockey League entry draft, a left winger from the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League, Mr. Brandon Saad.
We feel that Brandon Saad has the ability to strike fear in opponents' hearts, such as John Tavares... for not taking his talents to Toronto. We also feel that Brandon Saad will have a stronger and more successful career than Tyler Seguin. We feel that the Maple Leafs are ready to turn the corner, as well as turn heads, and Brandon Saad will be a key player in our renaissance of great younger players. Players like James Reimer, Carl Gunnarsson, Luke Schenn, Nikolai Kulemin, Phil Kessel and of course, Phil Kessel's new car.
That being said, there were a lot of great young players that we looked at, both forwards and defensemen, but when we saw that Brandon Saad was still available, we couldn't pass up on the up and coming power forward. His grit and determination that comes with being a product of Western Pennsylvania comes in very handy when he wins a lot of battles in the corners and around the net. His strength, hockey smarts and ability to play a solid two-way game also contributed to our decision. The Leafs need a few more players to realize their overall goal, both forwards and defensemen, but we feel Brandon Saad will be a nice cog in the machine.
Stay tuned for the second Leafs mock draft pick, presented by Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert. Until then, enjoy a photo of the Air Canada Centre I took on a trip to Toronto some years ago, plus a YouTube compilation of Brandon Saad.
2011 prospect: Brandon Saad Compilation (via nhldraftvideo)
Up next at #26 are the Washington Capitals, as portrayed by Pauly C.